ATHENS – Greek voters put their left-wing prime minister to the polls following a decade of grueling economic austerity as they worked with a resurgent center-right New Democracy party.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called his opponent Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a Harvard-trained former banker and son of a former prime minister, had to admit defeat.
Initial results showed that the Syriza party of Tsipras, which has ruled Greece for four years, had suffered a severe defeat hands of new democracy.
The Prime Minister stated:" In a democracy, a change of government is not uncommon Prime Minister.
Shortly after the public concession of Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Mitsotakis attempted to reach a conciliatory note.
"The will of the people is clear: society wants us to move forward together," he said. "I will try to convince you that I am the Prime Minister of every one of us, we are too few to separate."
Mr Tsipras has marginalized Greece by making an effective referendum on his euro And then pushed it back when he refused to pay attention to the outcome, and in July 2015 he persuaded the Greeks to reject another international bailout and consequent austerity measures – then agreed and reconciled.
He followed the demands of the program drafted by international policymakers in the European Commission in Brussels and Brussels. The International Monetary Fund in Washington lashed out its party members to vote for more austerity.
The result was a sense of stability in the Greek economy – today it is growing at a modest 2 percent – and the other Enmity of many voters. Unemployment remained above 18%, which is a remarkably high level for a European country.
Tsipras pushed for some privatization, cut pensions, increased taxes and cut spending to meet strict budgetary targets. However, the Greek public sector, which has often been criticized as bloated and as a brake on innovation and entrepreneurship, has not been revolutionized. Now it will be up to Mr. Mitsotakis to cut it back and modernize it if he can.
Yianna Elafrou, 55, a schoolteacher, is a one-time socialist supporter who joined Mr. Tsipras in the crisis years after. Her salary has been cut several times. This time she gave her voice to Mr Mitsotakis.
"We tried, it did not work," she said of Syriza after casting her vote in a polling station in Athens.
New Democracy Maybe she does not catch her political beliefs, she said, "but it's the lesser of two evils."