Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Centre-right poised to re-claim power from populism as Greece heads to the polls

A resurgent centre-right looks set to re-claim power in Greece as the country goes to the polls on Sunday with the man likely to be prime minister declaring "it was the end of populism" in the country.

After coming to power on an anti-austerity platform in 2013, Alexis Tsipras' popularity has nosed-dived as Greece's recession grinds on. In response to a drumming in the Euro elections, Tsipras called a snap election - one he is very likely to loose to New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Exactly four years ago on July 5, Greece celebrated saying 'no' to Brussels in a referendum. But the defiance lasted less than a week as the banks shut, people queued for hours at cash points and in a choice between buckling under and abandoning the Euro, Tsipras lost his nerve.

Greek Prime Minister and Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras addresses supporters during his main election campaign rally in Athens. Credit: AP

Losing the battle with Brussels is thought to have added two years to the long Greek recession, and although things have improved since then, many Greeks have not forgiven him for that. Former Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who stood at his side when he won power is now standing for a rival party, accused Tsipras of betraying their revolution.

He told ITV News: "What was a mistaken was that Tsipras did not stick to the plan that we dawn up together. Because it was s good plan. It was the only plan to get us out of this endless loop of austerity, bankruptcy, austerity, bankruptcy."

The man who is poised to win Sunday's election is Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a moderate conservative about to re-claim power for the traditional party of the centre-right.

Yanis Varoufakis. Credit: ITV News

He promises business friendly policies and full co-operation with Brussels.

Those likely to serve in his cabinet said Greece has lessons for others.

Haris Theoharis told ITV News: "This is not going to happen again in Greece, that's for sure. It's time for other European countries to learn the lesson that Greece learned the hard way.

"There are no easy solutions for today's problems, this is a difficult world that requires planning and requirements co-operation among the countries."