Greek rivals launch final push before Sunday election


Greece’s outgoing conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and leftist challenger Alexis Tsipras will make a final push for votes at closing rallies on Friday ahead of the most uncertain general election in a decade.

Harvard graduate Mitsotakis has picked a spot beneath the imposing Acropolis in Athens to tout his record of steady growth, tax cuts and a post-pandemic tourism revival that has offered debt-ridden Greece a rare respite of economic stability.

Tsipras will meanwhile travel to the western port of Patras, Greece’s third largest city, to argue that the incumbent government had handed out billions of euros to political allies while Greeks are struggling with high inflation.

Political dynasty scion Mitsotakis and atheist leftist Tsipras have travelled from island to border in recent weeks, canvassing for votes in an election that, because of a change in the electoral system, may require a follow-up — likely on July 2.

Current polls give the outgoing prime minister a clear lead of between five and seven percent, but the rules for Sunday’s ballot set a high bar for an absolute majority that no party is likely to clear.

Mitsotakis has repeatedly urged voters not to squander away Greece’s economy gains, warning that failure to return his New Democracy party to power will lead to “paralysis” and “chaos” amid geopolitical challenges such as the Ukraine war or record inflation.__Daily Times