Others can only dream of this: after four turbulent years in power and a mixed record, the Greeks are withdrawing just four percent of the votes from the incumbent Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras – and are electing their future Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to office with almost forty percent and an absolute majority of the seats. At the same time, the Greek voters are putting an end to all flirting with the extreme right, thus blocking their way into parliament.
A flourishing Greece ahead?
Is this now the dawning of a flourishing Greece of reforms? Obviously many in the country would like that. And we wish it for Greece. Yet everyone should know that even the new head of government who is willing to reform must lead the Greeks through ups and downs, lined with lousy economic data and even lousier social conditions, not to mention the pressure of the refugees.
Mitsotakis is by no means uncontroversial
However, it is always better to show courage for new things, courage for renewal than not. In his party, the Nea Dimokratia, Mitsotakis was by no means uncontroversial in his election as chairman and thus as a top candidate; on the contrary, patronage still exists there. Another construction site, then. In any case, unlike Tsipras with Syriza in 2015, no acclaimed Messiah won first place and access to the office of prime minister.
A left over – the problem child Italy
After Portugal and Spain, the third southern crisis country has now set out for new shores. This deserves recognition, especially from German and EU policymakers. And the problem child Italy? Now Salvini is at home alone. He has not yet said a Mitsotakis sentence like “Today we’re starting the hard work.” Which would also be a political announcement.