Greeks to vote in July

Early parliamentary elections will be held in Greece on 7 July. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took this step after the conservative opposition party Nea Dimokratia left his Syriza party trailing almost ten percentage points behind in the European elections. Normally the elections wouldn't have been held until the autumn. What is at stake in the vote?

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

People once again voting for family clans

The snap election is not just about domestic policy, La Vanguardia stresses:

“The Nea Dimokratia candidate Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the son of a conservative ex-prime minister and the Greeks seem to want to put their trust in the old formula of the family clan. These elections are decisive for Greece not just with a view to national politics but - after leaving the euro bailout programme - also with respect to the relationship with the EU in its dual role of ally and creditor. Tsipras was perceived as a symbolic figure of resistance to the austerity policy. Now it could be that he will pay a price for the promises he didn't keep. He points out that he freed the country from the spiral of crisis. But for many Greeks he is a man who has broken his word.”

Blog Pitsirikos (GR) /

Voters want to take revenge on Tsipras

Blogger Pitsirikos is disappointed in Greek voters:

“Alexis Tsipras is already on the long list of Greek prime ministers who tell endless lies and who did the exact opposite of what they promised. ... The Greeks will now vote for Mitsotakis to take revenge on Tsipras. We live in a country in which thousands of people voted for the right-wing Golden Dawn [in the last elections] to take revenge on those in power, but who in the end only punished themselves. In electing Mitsotakis they'll once again be punishing themselves. He's promised a different economic policy with low taxes, quicker reforms and more investments. Of course he doesn't say how that's supposed to work in a highly indebted, double-mortgaged country. And no one is asking him.”

Efimerida ton Syntakton (GR) /

Syriza must go back to its roots

Syriza must now put its shoulder to the wheel, writes pro-government Efimerida ton Syntakton:

“The party must remember its roots. It must return to the path it took in its early days and fight for what it forgot about when it was in power. It must come up with a plan for how to make people's lives easier. And above all it must speak to their hearts. All of this must be done honestly and with a fighting spirit. Not with grievances and crude words, but with wisdom and consistency, with a rhetoric that fits in with the ethos of the left. That's what the people want. A government that really cares for them in the long term and doesn't just take their votes for granted.”

Kathimerini (GR) /

Vote before it's too late

The conservative daily Kathimerini is glad new elections will be held:

“It is a very welcome development that the country will go to an early election. An extended pre-election period would freeze the economy and, perhaps, result in complete fiscal derailment. A great deal of damage could have been inflicted over the course of just a few months. At the same time, rising tensions in relations with Turkey require a strong government. It would perhaps be premature to say that the era of unfettered populism has come to an end. It is nevertheless striking that the Greek people have voted in a mature manner at the time when the rest of Europe is caught up in the gales of populism and nationalism.”

Ta Nea (GR) /

Prime minister out of options

Tsipras had no other choice, Ta Nea writes:

“It is a message and demand that the prime minister could not have ignored, as much as he tried to spin and prettify his devastating defeat. Calling a general election was the only option. The government was obliged to respect the verdict of the people. ... Government policy was condemned and the four months remaining for the government to complete its four year term in office [until the next regular election date] are not sufficient to reverse the current of disapproval that has become entrenched in Greek society.”

To Vima (GR) /

Enough of populism and division!

To Vima hopes a new era will soon begin for Greece:

“Tsipras governed for four years by dividing the Greek people, targeting his political opponents, and undermining institutions. As he confessed, he had harboured a series of self-deceptions and led the country into economic adventures only to later implement policies that he had previously denounced. Still, he did not abandon his ideological fixations and he severely tested the economy and society with over-taxation designed to exceed primary surplus targets and to distribute the money as the putative protector of the poor and vulnerable. Greece and its citizens after many years of sacrifices seek a path that can offer true hope. It is time for the cycle of populism and division to close.”