Party Leaders in Greece Warn of Far-Right Rise in the European Elections

European Elections Greece
PM Mitsotakis warned of the rise of extreme right parties. Credit: AMNA

The leaders of the two main political parties in Greece which came out weakened from Sunday’s European elections tried to put a brave face to the results.

PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis conceded that his New Democracy party (ND) which got 28.3 percent failed to reach the target of 33 percent it set for itself in the elections.

He warned that Greece had also been affected by the rise of “extreme right” parties (three populist parties saw gains in their support). Mitsotakis added that citizens who had voted for the party in the 2023 national elections opted to abstain as they considered the European Elections (EU) elections less urgent.

“Despite my own efforts, there was a lack of substantial reflection on Europe and the future we want,” the PM underlined adding that he did hear the voice of the voters and mandate: “We trust you, but try harder and that’s what we will do to move faster towards Europe.”

He added that ND remained strong and one of the largest center-right parties in Europe, juxtaposing the results with France and Germany where government parties witnessed significant setbacks.

“From now on, these elections become the starting point of a new journey towards 2027. Starting tomorrow, we will focus more intensely on problems, work harder, make greater efforts, and have fewer failures,” adding his party had 3 more years without elections to focus on the job that has to be done,” he said.

SYRIZA: European elections were the first step in Greece

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis said that he will continue his course to build an alternative government proposal. SYRIZA won 14.9 percent and four seats but also lost ground. It failed to match the 17 percent it garnered in last year’s national polls.

“This is the first step. The first step for a party that develops and changes, and a new person, unknown in this country, who came here, stands before you and is able to bring progress, change and meritocracy to our country,” he noted.

The Greek people have clearly given me the time to build an alternative government proposal, Kasselakis said and added:

“I know and fully realize the importance of this responsibility, and this is exactly what I will do, as we said before the election. We continue, we modernize, we will set up cradles of knowledge and offer and we will inspire the world. And this movement, which despite the adverse conditions showed resilience, can only go up from here on.”

PASOK  warns of the rise of far-right

“The unprecedented abstention and the rise of the far right are the two strong messages of the elections,” PASOK-Movement for Change leader Nikos Androulakis said.

Androulakis noted that it turned out that a large part of the people feels that the political system has turned its back on them and today they turned their back.

“I will in no way accept such a very negative development, and that is why I will fight for politics to provide solutions, fascinate and not cause disgust or new impasses,” he stated and added:

“At the same time, there is a strong shift to the far right and irrationality, which should concern us. Especially the government, which nurtured them by systematically undermining the rule of law, respect for human rights and trust in justice.”

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