Kyriakos Mitsotakis Assumes Second Term as Greek Prime Minister Following Overwhelming Election Victory

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Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, has embarked on his second term as Greece's prime minister, vowing to expedite institutional and economic reforms. The Greek electorate delivered a resounding victory to Mitsotakis, granting his party the widest winning margin in nearly 50 years. Praised for bringing economic stability to a country previously burdened with debt within the European Union, Mitsotakis now holds 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament. He was officially sworn in after receiving the mandate from President Katerina Sakellaropoulou to form a government.

Expressing his gratitude and commitment, Mitsotakis acknowledged the responsibility of his new mandate and emphasized the initiation of major reforms. A key focus of his campaign promises is the allocation of funds to bolster the public health system, which faced immense strain during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, he aims to enhance railway safety in response to Greece's worst rail disaster in February, which claimed the lives of 57 individuals.

World leaders swiftly congratulated Mitsotakis on his victory, with US President Joe Biden expressing his eagerness to collaborate on shared priorities for regional security and prosperity. French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to work together toward a stronger and more autonomous Europe, while Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani highlighted the political stability resulting from Mitsotakis's re-election, which benefits the entire continent.

At 55 years old, Mitsotakis, a former McKinsey consultant and Harvard graduate, successfully guided Greece through the pandemic and achieved two consecutive years of robust economic growth. Notably, he had already secured a substantial win in an election held in May. Despite falling short of the required seats for a single-party government by only five seats, Mitsotakis chose not to form a coalition, prompting Greek voters to return to the polls. His gamble paid off as New Democracy further solidified its victory, while the left-wing Syriza party, led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, experienced a significant decline in support.

Tsipras, acknowledging a "serious political defeat," has left his political future to the judgment of Syriza members. Many Greeks attribute Greece's near-exit from the Eurozone and the acceptance of more stringent bailout terms to Tsipras, leading to disappointment among centrists. In a disconcerting development, the resurgence of the far-right party Spartiates, endorsed by a former spokesperson of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, has secured a place in parliament alongside two other small nationalist parties with anti-migration policies, collectively garnering nearly 13 percent of the vote. Tsipras views the significant presence of Greek hard-right parties as a tangible threat to democracy.

Mitsotakis is expected to announce his new cabinet later today, with rumors of George Gerapetritis, his trusted troubleshooter and a professor of constitutional law, potentially assuming the role of foreign minister. Former foreign minister Nikos Dendias, known for his moderate stance, is anticipated to transition to the defense ministry. Mitsotakis's schedule includes a meeting with his European Union counterparts at a summit in Brussels this Thursday.

As he begins his new term, Mitsotakis has vowed to continue prioritizing economic stability and has championed a strong anti-immigration stance, appealing to conservative voters. Notably absent from his electoral campaign was any mention of the recent tragic sinking of an overcrowded trawler, highlighting the multifaceted challenges faced by Greece in the coming years.

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