A clear win for Nea Dimocratia in the July 7 election in Greece, a clear victory for Kyriakos Mitsotakis whose revamping of the venerable Right-wing party in a more liberal, Centre-Right direction was accepted by 4 Greeks out of 10 – albeit with a sediment of nationalist views, to cater to a part of the electorate with set sentiments on the Macedonian issue. This is the effective result of a protracted electoral campaign; a campaign that allowed international media to get gradually acquainted with what amounts to a new kid in the block.
For quite too long, the international media – both continental European and AngloAmerican – centered their reading of Greece around the radical-sounding, Left-wing SYRIZA party and its Ovidian transformations. Also around youthful, feisty Alexis Tsipras who dared to fight with (and win over) the high and mighty of Europe; to engage with heavy shadows of Balkan history especially over the Macedonian issue; to survive two successive elections and one referendum.
So the greyish-in-comparison, dark-suited, Stanford-cum-Harvard (Business School) figure of Kyriakos Mitsotakis was late in catching media imagination. It did so, in the latest few weeks – with a vengeance.
The media tried hard to trace the Mitsotakis family story, going back to emblematic Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis but also to the figure of Eleftherios Venizelos in the Twenties; to get acquainted with the economic liberalism injected by Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the Nea Dimocratia (largely traditional) agenda; to trace his efforts to build support in EU circles – especially after his bet to back Manfred Weber as candidate for the post of European Commission Presidency got lost in the quicksands of the Spitzenkandidaten desert.
Still, the catching-up goes fast enough and stories start to abound. To follow.