Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis appeared confident his center-right party will win the upcoming European Parliament election at the end of on May 26, while insisting that Greek Prime Alexis Tsipras should subsequently resign and declare elections four weeks later.
Mitsotakis and his center-right ND field a comfortable lead in all mainstream polls over Tsipras and his hard left ruling party, SYRIZA. Nevertheless, the latter appears loath to declaring a snap election, and has repeatedly said he will exhaust his four-year mandate to the "very last day".
"I am asking for a wide and major (ND) victory in the European Parliament election. Mr. Tsipras is the one that asked for a vote of confidence in Parliament, and by citizens at the ballot box. Since he outlined the framework for the campaign contest, if he loses - as I predict will happen - he has no margin left... He must resign and the country must be led to elections in four week," Mitsotakis told televised press conference on Sunday afternoon.
Asked about the recent government announcement over future tax cuts, a proposal repeatedly voiced by ND, Mitsotakis responded that "citizens prefer the real thing and not the imitation ... SYRIZA is only interested in how to redistribute poverty. It has discovered, with much delay, certain few tax breaks, when it has made the middle class poorer."
He again called on the government to vote in favor of an amendment, tabled by Mitsotakis and ND, to abolish a pre-legislated law to lower the tax-free annual income threshold as of Jan. 1, 2020.
Deputies from previously anti-bailout and anti-austerity SYRIZA and their then Parliament coalition partners voted in favor of the austerity in 2017, as part of a "tax tsunami" aimed at meeting memorandum-mandated fiscal targets.
While submitting and ratifying the measure, Tsipras and his government have vowed to try and persuade creditors that the measure is now unnecessary and should be scrapped, akin to a pre-legislated pension harmonization measure (downwards) that was avoided earlier this year.
The promise to "avoid" the measure extends to a period after general elections must be held, i.e. mid October 2019.