Turkey’s Erdoğan congratulates Greece’s Mitsotakis over near win in election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday called Greece’s New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis to congratulate him over his lead in the country’s snap general election, according to the Greek Reporter.

With over 75 per cent of districts turning in their results, Mitsotakis’ ND won 39.7 percent of the votes, while Alexis Tsipras and his left wing Syriza follow in second place with 31 percent. Barring a radical change as more of the votes are counted, ND is set to win as the Greek election system gives 50 extra seats at the parliament for the winner, BBC reported.

The results so far suggest that the far-right Golden Dawn will remain just short of the 3 percent of threshold to enter the parliament, while former Syriza finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’s left-wing MeRA25 and the nationalist Greek Solution are expected to win just over 3 percent and win some seats. Centre-left Movement for Change is predicted to win 8 pct and the Communist Party 5.35 percent.

Tsipras has called Mitsotakis to congratulate him. Speaking to journalists, Tsipras said his party has had to make difficult decisions with a heavy political cost.

The first foreign head of state to congratulate Mitsotakis was Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Mitsotakis responded with wishes of renewed Greek-Turkish relations on the basis of respect for international law and a sincere dialogue to benefit both peoples.

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, currently involved in a conflict with Turkey about eastern Mediterranean oil reserves, was the second to call to congratulate Mitsotakis.

New Democracy had lost to Syriza in 2015 when Tsipras and his party campaigned against austerity measures. The energy Syriza created quickly turned into anger against the party, though, when mere months later they were forced to accept tough measures in return for a third bailout for Greece. Tsipras himself recovered from this first crisis, but the party suffered losses as unemployment continued to plague the country’s young people.

As ND clearly recovered in the snap elections, Mitsotakis is set to become prime minister.

Mitsotakis is the son of former prime minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis and brother of Dora Bakoyannis, former mayor of Athens in 2004 when the city hosted the Olympic Games and later foreign minister.