SYRIZA will be the top party in next elections, Minister of State Vernardakis says

There are unpleasant surprises in store for main opposition New Democracy at the local government elections, Minister of State Christoforos Vernardakis predicted in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) released on Sunday, in which he forecast that SYRIZA will be the top party when the country next goes to the polls.

“The trend is growing daily and, if we are not careless, there are no margins for its reversal,” he said, while reporting a number of signs that SYRIZA will increase its strength in the local government and European elections.

According to the minister, the main opposition’s programme is a “nightmare and a horrendous plan for social cohesion, popular rights and the freedom of young people,” while he urged the greatest possible rallying of progressive forces in Greece and Europe. He also accused ND and the PASOK party of a “guilty” and “embarrassed” response to the jailing of former minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

Vernardakis also outlined eight positive measures that the government intends to implement and the next “very careful” steps it will take in terms of economic policy, while noting that the government has two main aims in its proposed revision of the Constitution: a deep reform for the democratisation of the political system and its architecture, in the first place, and secondly, securing or strengthening critical social and individual rights in a reverse direction to neoliberalism.

Asked about the clash between Defence Minister Panos Kammenos and the former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, the minister said the development must be handled “on terms of transparency and continuity of foreign policy, with the immediate priority being the completion of the Prespes Agreement [to settle the name issue with FYROM].”