New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented the party’s main policies to take Greece out of the crisis during a speech at the opening of ND's 11th conference in Athens on Saturday, saying ND is "ready to change the country."
"The aim of the conference is to highlight the policies to exit the crisis, to update our commitments towards the Greek people, the principles with which we are ready to govern. We want to show there’s another way that we will not compromise with the lies and the depravity of the current rulers," he said.
Mitsotakis pledged to lower taxes, streamline the state, attract investment, create a safety net for the most vulnerable, and develop a plan to "pull the country out of the rut that the current government put us in."
"Mr. Tsipras does not deserve a second chance. He was selected two times to govern and he failed miserably. The Greek people are paying the price for his lies," he said.
Mitsotakis took the podium for a second time after a speech by Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, to say that Cyprus' story leaves a "bittersweet" taste as the country managed to overcome its problems quickly, while Greece is still struggling after eight years to exit from "the vicious circle" of bailouts.
"If the previous ND government had been allowed to complete its circle, we would have exited the memorandums. The previous government collapsed because Mr. Tsipras, Mr. [Fotis] Kouvelis, Mr. [Panos] Kammenos and Golden Dawn did not consent for the election of a President," he said.
Cyprus handled the crisis with maturity and the cooperation of political parties, he continued. "They told the Cypriot people the truth and didn’t hide," he added, noting that the policy mix is very important.
"Cyprus exited the crisis without increasing a single tax. It used taxation as a tool for growth. Our commitment is that we will win back the lost time; we will implement quickly a coherent program of change and reform to make all the structural changes that will make us a proud country," he added.
Mitsotakis criticized the policies followed by the government saying that it is not a reform to pay 400 euros to unemployed youths. "This is populism and a tip," he said.