PM Mitsotakis sees no window for cooperation with PASOK
In a question about the elections in Turkiye and the Greek-Turkish relations, Mitsotakis said: "I will not make any predictions about the election result, nor will I express a preference for who will be elected President of Turkiye. I believe that the Turkish policy towards Greece is not easy to change. To the extent that Turkiye insists on the 'blue homeland' doctrine, there will be difficulties. Over the last months there has been a substantial easing of Turkiye's rhetoric. One key difference separates us, the demarcation of the maritime zones. I will call to congratulate whoever is elected and I will seek a meeting to set the framework for our relations for the coming years. The basic core of foreign policy, the central political choices do not change. I hope that a favorable ground is found for us to lead to a more permanent de-escalation of Greek-Turkish relations."
"I don't think there is a real risk of an incident, but we have to be prepared. I hope that today's elections in Turkiye will be an opportunity to reflect and re-approach its policy. When there is such geopolitical instability, it matters a lot who will rule our country tomorrow. Citizens can compare what we did and what the government of Alexis Tsipras did," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said when asked whether Athens is worried about an incidence with Turkiye.
When asked if New Democracy (ND) is the first party in the elections next week and what it will do with the mandate to form a government, the prime minister replied: "The election result will also determine the post-election developments. ND will be the big winner of the elections. (PASOK leader Nikos) Androulakis has said that he does not want me as a prime minister, we cannot accept that, the citizens also vote for a prime minister. With Androulakis' PASOK, I have few things to actually discuss, he has moved closer to SYRIZA. I do not consider Androulakis a force for progressive modernization, we will be forced to press the brakes rather than speeding up. I don't think that such a government would serve the interests of the country."
Regarding the wiretapping issue, Mitsotakis said that the government took full political responsibility, executives resigned, all parliamentary procedures were observed, the National Intelligence Service (EYP) was institutionally shielded, a second prosecutor was placed, the Justice has investigated the case and will judge if there are criminal responsibilities.
Asked about the issue of high prices, Mitsotakis said that this is real problem although it is imported due to the war in Ukraine and due to the explosion of energy prices. Inflation, Mitsotakis said, is de-escalating and is one of the lowest in Europe, while measures have been taken such as the 'market pass' which of course does not solve the problem, but gives temporary support and we are already discussing its extension.
"The permanent solution cannot be other than supporting citizens' incomes. I insist on raising wages and further reducing the tax burden. We have significant potential to reduce taxes. Our most important commitment is to raise wages, that's the solution to the problem of high prices," he said.
"We will be very strict in the operation of the market. The 'household basket' helped people, there was more transparency in prices. All this was temporary, but the permanent thing is the improvement of incomes," Mitsotakis underlined.
In the next question about the investment grade, the prime minister stated: "The main reason we had such high inflation had to do with energy prices and mainly natural gas. They fell. If we had imposed the cap earlier, they would have de-escalated earlier. I believe things will get better. Investment grade ultimately means lower borrowing costs for the government, businesses and households. The stable New Democracy government will achieve the investment grade in 2023, Greek bonds are already trading as if we have investment grade. With the government of (SYRIZA leader Alexis) Tsipras there is no chance, if he implements even a part of his program, we will return to very bad times. SYRIZA's programme is the same as in 2015."