Prime Minister of Greece on interview at CNN. Photo via CNN
The Greek people grew tired of policies that encouraged anger and nationalism and realized these led nowhere, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview aired on Sunday afternoon (Greek time), explaining both the failure of SYRIZA to win elections and of extreme-right Golden Dawn to enter parliament again.
Commenting on how extreme-right Golden Dawn lost all its seats, falling below the 3 pct threshold to enter parliament, he said that “after ten years of crisis the Greek people have had enough of the politics of anger, of rage, of pointless nationalism.” He added that “in a sense, after experimenting with populism I think that the pendulum is clearly swinging in the opposite direction.”
His party’s platform, he said, focused “on an agenda that was patriotic but certainly not nationalistic” and “on the problems that people really care about: issues that have to do with taxation, overtaxation, issues that have to do with lack of investment, how do we create new jobs, issues that have to do with improving the efficiency of the public sector.”
He noted that Greece had experienced an extraordinary number of migrants arrive at its shores. “In 2015, more than a million people came through Greece and most of them ended up in western Europe,” he noted, “so of course immigration is an issue for us and we have the solutions that we have proposed – very reasonable ones.” He added that his government’s policy would be to monitor Greek borders better, change Greek asylum rules and ensure that European funding is used in a more efficient manner.