A new era in Greek politics is beginning today with the victory and swearing-in of a new prime minister from the center-right New Democracy party, the party’s first win since Greece withdrew from a bailout regime last year. The election results show the people’s desire for a return to mainstream politics and their break with the populism that has propelled the country in recent years.
New Democracy had won just under 40 percent of the vote, considered to be a strong showing that can hopefully repair Greece from its former tendencies towards fragile coalitions.
Greek government bond yields fell to new all-time lows on Monday after the early signs of an incoming conservative government renewed optimism for the country’s economic recovery. Greek 10-year bond yields were down as much as 14 percent on Monday to 2.014 percent, before heading higher to approximately 2.14 percent. 5-year bond yields were down to 1.09 percent. Greek bond yields have been heading steadily downward since the start of the year, in part due to optimism that the elections would bring a new government to power.
Kyriakos Mitsokakis, the prime minister-elect, has campaigned on the platform of lower taxes and more investments in the country’s economy. He has commented that he will get right down to business and that there would be no ‘grace period’ because there is simply no time for that. “From today, a difficult but beautiful fight begins,” Mitsokakis was quoted as saying.
Mitsokakis hails from a family of Greek politicians, being the son of a former prime minister and the brother of a foreign minister. His nephew is the newly-elected mayor of Athens. Nevertheless, he shrugged off the idea of family privilege and pledged to revolutionize the country on both economic and bureaucratic levels. Mitsokakis’s electoral victory was greeted with excitement but not surprise – he has been leading the polls for nearly three years, according to the Associated Press.