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Mitsotakis Sworn in as Greek PM After Election Triumph

Mitsotakis Greek election
Kyriakos Mitsotakis received the mandate to form a new government from President Sakellaropoulou. Credit: AMNA

Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as Greek Prime Minister on Monday after his party’s election triumph.

“It is a special honor to receive this mandate to form a government with a four-year horizon,” Mitsotakis said in his meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidential Mansion on Monday morning.

The leader of ND reiterated that he is aware that the “responsibility lies heavy on my shoulders” and pointed out that his goal from the beginning had been to form a single-party government, while he once again pledged to initiate major changes and reforms.

“We have a strong mandate and a parliamentary majority, our government will be a government of hard work and practical results,” noted Mitsotakis. He explained that democracy is mature and able to handle temporary upheavals and said that the eight-party Parliament was the “death rattle of simple proportional representation”.

On her part, Sakellaropoulou underlined that “our democracy proved resilient” and wished Mitsotakis success in the work ahead.

With almost all votes counted New Democracy (ND) won by 40.5 percent, followed by SYRIZA at 17.8, PASOK at 11.8 percent with the Communist Party at 7.7 percent.

The composition of the new government will be announced at 17:00 on Monday.

Mitotakis makes history in Greek election

Mitsotakis has made history becoming the PM of a government with the widest margin of victory (22 percentage points) from the main opposition in the modern Greek political era.

Hailing the “strong mandate”, Mitsotakis said that “major reforms will proceed rapidly”, adding that he had “ambitious” targets for his next four years in power that could “transform” Greece.

Among his pledges is pouring money into the country’s public health system – which was stretched to its limits by the Covid-19 pandemic – and improving railway safety after the deaths of 57 people in a February train collision that was Greece’s worst rail disaster.

President Biden congratulates Mitsotakis

Congratulations poured in from world leaders swiftly after Mitsotakis’s victory.

“On behalf of the people of the United States, I send our congratulations to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece on his reelection,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Sunday, noting that he’s looking forward to continuing his partnership with Mitsotakis, focusing on their shared priorities such as fostering prosperity and regional security.

“Together—as Allies, partners, and friends—Greece and the United States have championed democracy,” Biden added in his statement. “We will keep working with the government and people of Greece as well as our vibrant Greek-American community in the United States to continue this legacy.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also promised cooperation towards “a stronger and more sovereign Europe,” while Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani called Mitsotakis’s re-election “a sign of political stability that is good for the whole of Europe”.

Greek leader faces a weak and fragmented opposition

The Greek leader will begin his second four-year term facing a weak and fragmented opposition.

Main opposition SYRIZA suffered a humiliating defeat and lost another 30 MPs compared with the May elections. Socialist PASOK made moderate gains but it still hovers in the low teens. The two parties are engaged in a struggle to become the dominant force in the center-left.

Mitsotakis has moved the ruling New Democracy (ND) party toward the center of the political spectrum from where he seems to be in a dominant position, having secured 158 seats in the 300-member Greek Parliament.

But, Mitsotakis will have to govern Greece while keeping a very close eye on his right as three fringe parties gained parliamentary representation.

The extreme right-wing formation called the Spartans, pro-Russia Greek Solution and Orthodox traditionalists Niki have garnered 34 MPs in the new Parliament and are bound to add pressure on the Greek PM on issues such as immigration, relations with Turkey and human rights.

Related: Extreme Right Makes Gains in Greek Elections

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