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 elections.

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 farmers. 

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.

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