Greek Elections Show Shift Toward Nationalism
Nationalism is on the rise in Europe.
Further proof is the result of the latest exit poll conducted in the Greek
Results showed that the clear winner
of the European Parliament Polls is Greece’s main opposition party New
Democracy (ND), garnering 33.6 per cent of the vote versus ruling left-wing
Syriza party’s 24 per cent.
“Greece is in need of a new
government. Prime Minister Tsipras must assume his responsibility and resign.
The country needs elections,” said New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“The sun is rising on a much brighter
Greece,” he added.
Dismal results prompted Greek Prime
Minister Alexis Tsipras to call for a snap election that is expected to be held
at the end of June, four months early.
His coalition partners The River, a centre-left reformist party, as well
as the Centre Union, and the Independent Greeks party, won no seats.
“I will request immediate declaration
of national elections from the President of the Republic,” Tsipras announced.
“The result … is not up to par
with our expectations,” Tsipras said.
The Prime Minister failed to woo
voters with his $1bn worth of handouts in the form of a halving of sales tax in
supermarkets and restaurants, and a bonus pension.
“Tsipras’ handouts acted as a
boomerang,” says Nikolaos Nikolaidis, a lawyer with good connections
inside the conservative party.
“If you look at how pensioners
voted, the bonus pension was more of an annoyance. It reminded them of all that
had been taken away in previous years. It was also announced just before the
election and was clearly connected to it.”
According to the daily eKathimerini,
many young voters had shifted to the right even though the government this
month pledged to introduce tax cuts and pension payouts.
New Democracy leader, Mitsotakis promised
to restart the economy by lowering tax on businesses and income tax on
Likewise, Mitsotakis also
plans to create 700,000 new jobs in five years and bring home at least half a
million of the 860,000 skilled workers who, according to the Hellenic
Statistical Service, have been leaving the country since 2009.