Greek opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid out a wide-ranging reform package during a nationally televised address on Saturday evening, staying "on message" with pledges of less taxes, a smaller public sector, a much more business-friendly environment and stepped up job creation for the younger generations.
Mitsotakis, the leader of the center-right New Democracy (ND) party, also reiterated that, if elected, he will work to overturn a constitutional ban on private universities.
"Greeks do not deserve to live in misery and a constant impoverishment," he said from Thessaloniki, where a major trade exhibition in the country is continuing.
With all major opinion polls showing Mitsotakis and his ND party ahead of leftist SYRIZA party by double-digit percentage points, the former minister and son of late premier Constantine Mitsotakis lobbed a direct criticism at this main rival's "political DNA". "Greece cannot be a poor example of some Latin American republic ... " he said, calling on the current leftist-rightist coalition government to give up power.
Other main points in Mitsotakis' address included:
- "For a true revolution in tax policy, we will reduce the fiscal targets for primary budget surpluses (as a percentage of GDP, as demanded by creditors)
- "Yes to private (non-profit, non-state) universities"
- "We will suspend VAT for new construction activities"
- "We're never going to turn investments and jobs spots into petty political clashes"
- "I am committed to simplifying the tax system, and that the tax code won't change for at least five years"
-"We believe in the private sector and we're not hiding it"
- "Our priorities are a major increase of investment, reduction of tax burdens, a rationalization of the state"
- "Guaranteeing security is a condition for freedom"
- "Greece cannot be transformed into a greenhouse of ineptitude and mediocrity"
- "Our priority is to accelerate emblematic investments ... Yes, we want mining activity in the country, no more 'Skouries' (a reference to the opposition against the biggest productive investment in the country"
"As true as the 'tearing up' of the memorandums was, so true are the (looming) investments (by the SYRIZA government).