Greek Elections Issue in New Government

Aidan Camas - Jul 19 2019
Published in: Public Policy

Greece’s center-right opposition party, New Democracy, won a commanding victory in the country’s recent snap elections. New Democracy won close to 40% of the vote and will now have an outright majority in the Greek Parliament. Kyriakos Mitsotakis will become Greece’s new Prime Minister, as the country voted for a change in leadership from the leftwing Syriza party that has been in power since 2015. Mitsotakis will help form Greece’s first post bail-out government after the country has been struggling economically over the past decade, and will have enough support to govern alone, rather than form a fragile coalition.

How This Impacts Mobility

As Greece works to rebuild its economy, the results of this recent election could have a significant effect on the mobility industry. Greece was one of the first European countries to see a rise in populism and far-right political parties gaining traction in recent years. Like other far-right political parties throughout Europe, Greece’s Golden Dawn party made a name for itself through its anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Prior to this election, Golden Dawn held 18 seats of the 300 in the Greek Parliament. Results show that the Golden Dawn is set to receive less than 3% of the overall vote, meaning the party will no longer hold seats in Parliament. While far-right parties have been gaining traction throughout Europe, it is noticeable that this did not continue in Greece, and the absence of vocal anti-immigrant stances in Parliament benefits the mobility industry.

While Greece’s economy has been slowly recovering, unemployment remains high (around 18% - the highest in the EU). Mitsotakis was elected in part because he convinced voters he was the best choice to lead the country’s continued economic recovery. Mitsotakis has pledged to reduce taxes, increase foreign investment and create new jobs, especially in the technology space. If he can bring increased foreign investment into Greece, there may be an increase in the number of employees needed to relocate into the country. And while Greece’s economy is improving, foreign investors will likely want to see this continue before investing deeply in the country after several rocky years.

Greece’s economic troubles caused the country to take repeated bailout packages from the EU, and necessitated the enforcement of severe austerity measures, which have caused many in Greece to view the EU unfavorably. If Mitsotakis can cultivate Greece’s economy so that it expands and maintains growth, it will greatly help Greece and the European Union. Ensuring that Greece remains in the Eurozone has been a priority for EU leaders and has been an advantage for the mobility industry as well.

As Mitsotakis begins to implement his agenda, Worldwide ERC® will continue to monitor the new administration in Greece and will keep members informed of any changes that appear likely to impact the industry.