On Monday, Greece elected its new Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a centre-right candidate who committed to bring the country out of economic crisis. The Greek economy, which has been suffering from financial slump for over a year, plummeted 28% between 2008 to 2016, with high unemployment rate, sending many into poverty.
Constantine Michalos, president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, called it ‘a traumatic period’, with 275,000 businesses struggling for survival.
Recent elections, ending the era of left-wing Alexis Tsipras, got the hopes of people up, as people were growing restless with Tsipras’s inability to bring any despite during his four years of rule.
After his swearing-in, Mitsotakis of the New Democracy party, told reporters, “The Greek people gave us a strong mandate to change Greece. We will honour it to the full.”
The 51-year-old, who was accompanied by his wife and three children for oath taking ceremony, said, “Hard work begins today. I am completely confident that we will prove equal to the challenge.”
Mitsotakis has a huge challenge ahead of him as he takes over from Tsipras. , who imposed heavy tax cuts required as per the bailout packages to keep Greece in the eurozone.
A Harvard pass-out and a former McKinsey consultant, during his election campaign said that he could convince Greece’s creditors to agree to relaxed fiscal targets with “a comprehensive reforms package”. He avowed to make Greece a stronger and resilient economy, with the power to claim ” in Europe what it deserves and not be a beggar or poor relative.”
Athens has been running in huge debts since 2009, as the country closed its door for international markets. Greece has taken three bailout loans worth €289bn, £259bn, $326bn, with last one in 2018, from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.