New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday morning "switched gears" and unveiled what he said will be his and his center-right's priorities on the social front, a day after he offered pledges of almost immediate tax breaks for individuals and businesses.
Mitsotakis' almost daily campaign rallies and pronouncements are attracting increased interest and attention in the east Mediterranean country, less than two weeks before a general election, because of ND's commanding lead in all mainstream opinion polls, and a perceived downward trend for the outgoing PM Alexis Tsipras and the latter's hard left SYRIZA party.
Among others, Mitsotakis said a future ND government will, straight away, revise the country's penal code, essentially overturning the outgoing government last-minute reforms this month. The outgoing government downgraded various categories of offenses from felonies to misdemeanors and legislated a more lenient sentencing framework for offenders.
Judges and prosecutors' groups in the country, as well as most of the opposition, have warned that hundreds of inmates and convicted defendants will pour out of Greece's prisons and avoid remand in the coming period, if the outgoing leftist government's revisions are implemented.
At the same time, the pro-reform former minister again promised to abolish Greece's unique - for the western world - university asylum regime, which precludes law enforcement from entering such premises except with the acquiescence of a tertiary institute's faculty senate. Certain universities, especially in central Athens, currently serve as marshaling points for self-styled anarchists and for outdoor bazaars of bootleg goods, tobacco products and even narcotics.
Moreover, he also promised to overturn the SYRIZA government's change of the country's election system to a more simple representational model, passed by the outgoing Parliament for both the central government and municipal/regional entities.
Among the more bizarre results in a recent local government election was the win by a candidate for the municipality of Thessaloniki, in the second round, who in the first round only picked up seven municipal councilors - a slim minority in the nearly 50-seat municipal council.
Additionally, Mitsotakis also lambasted the intent by the Tsipras government to appoint top justices after Alexis Tsipras announced a snap poll but did not, at the same time, dissolve Parliament and official declare a date for the early election.
Speaking on a morning news program on the Athens-area Skai radio station, he also reiterated that if ND fails to field a majority government after the July 7 election, then the country will be led to another election, probably in mid August, under the Tsipras government's simple representational system - with all the risks of a weak mandate to rule that such a system entails, as he said.