New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented the party’s main policies to take Greece out of the crisis during a speech at the ND’s 11th conference in Athens on Saturday and Sunday, saying ND is “ready to change the country and to lead Greece where it deserves to be […] We are ready, we know exactly where we are going; today I present you with the plan for the Greece that we deserve.”
“The aim of the conference is to highlight the policies to exit the crisis, to update our commitments towards the Greek people, the principles with which we are ready to govern. We want to show there’s another way that we will not compromise with the lies and the depravity of the current rulers,” he said.
As he continued, “We must not be afraid of change. How can we convince the citizens that we will change the country if we do not first change ourselves. ND is changing and I am proud to serve a party with a history but I have a duty to plan and guarantee its future. This is the mandate you gave me and this is my primary obligation”.
More precisely, Mitsotakis pledged to lower taxes, streamline the state, attract investment, create a safety net for the most vulnerable, and develop a plan to “pull the country out of the rut that the current government put us in,” while he also referred to the changes that he has already done to his party like the reduction in its operating costs by six million euros, the transferring of its headquarters to the working-class district of Moschato and the fact that he put new people in all the party’s structures, giving young people an opportunity to get into politics.
“We sent the message that we are changing ourselves so that we can change Greece,” he added.
Mitsotakis took the podium for a second time after a speech by Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, to say that Cyprus’ story leaves a “bittersweet” taste as the country managed to overcome its problems quickly, while Greece is still struggling after eight years to exit from “the vicious circle” of bailouts.
“If the previous ND government had been allowed to complete its circle, we would have exited the memorandums. The previous government collapsed because Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Fotis Kouvelis, Mr. Panos Kammenos and Golden Dawn did not consent for the election of a President,” he said.
Cyprus handled the crisis with maturity and the cooperation of political parties, he continued. “They told the Cypriot people the truth and didn’t hide,” he added, noting that the policy mix is very important.
“Cyprus exited the crisis without increasing a single tax. It used taxation as a tool for growth. Our commitment is that we will win back the lost time; we will implement quickly a coherent program of change and reform to make all the structural changes that will make us a proud country,” he added.
Mitsotakis also criticized the policies followed by the government saying that it is not a reform to pay 400 euros to unemployed youths. “This is populism and a tip,” he said.