By Dimitris Gatsiou
Having repeatedly timed the national polls at the end of the four-year term and almost a week before the first major milestone of the Thessaloniki International Fair, the Prime Minister opens his next major round of tours, after the summer break in August. In fact, in a highly symbolic move, Mr. Mitsotakis is visiting Serres today with the semiotics of his presence in the prefecture of Macedonia sending multiple messages within the “blue” faction, at a time when the party apparatus is, in any case, now in a state of…alert, as the country has already entered a prolonged pre-election period of high tones.
With his visit, the prime minister sends a resounding message within the party. Serres has always been one of New Democracy’s strongest strongholds on the electoral map and Mr. Mitsotakis, in addition to the strategy of opening up to new pools of voters, also emphasizes the party’s base on Piraeus Street, in yet another rallying move ahead of what appears to be a double election contest in 2023.
He himself, after all, has announced, in all tones (starting from the Congress of the New Democracy) that the first ballot box is treated as final, in a strategy that not only intends to put barriers to the… relaxed vote, but to allow the governmental faction to have the initiative of the movements, after the simple proportional elections.
The logic, therefore, of rewarming relations with the traditional base of the New Democracy is being implemented, along with a barrage of meetings and discussions with party officials across the region, with the Prime Minister expected today to send out messages of rallying and co-operation, as he did, moreover, in his last tours in Western Greece and Epirus. Rallying and co-operation which, together with the enlargement moves towards the Centre, is valued by executives as bringing the goal of self-reliance closer.
“What I insist on is that, in very difficult times, the country needs above all governmental stability, and that stability, in my view, is best served by one-party governments, such as the one we have,” notes, on a regular basis, the Prime Minister.
Self-reliance, however, passes through barometer regions, such as Macedonia and Crete, but also social groups, to whom New Democracy will continue to address, such as the new generation, farmers and the middle class. The tours, therefore, will intensify immediately after the rise of Mr. Mitsotakis to the International Exhibition, as well as the targeted support movements, with the first big wave of announcements coming on September 10 and in the setting of the Vellidei Conference Center.
The meetings with the productive bodies
A little twenty-four hours before the “package” of announcements of the International Exhibition of Thessaloniki takes its final form, Mr. Mitsotakis (after completing his tour of Serres) will go to the co-capital for meetings with the city’s productive bodies. The program includes:
– Meeting with the representatives of the productive bodies.
– Meeting with the representatives of the scientific bodies.
– Presentation of the projects of Thessaloniki by thematic section and
– Meeting with the MPs of New Democracy A and B of Thessaloniki.
The talks with the agencies will be the last piece in the puzzle of shaping the armoring measures for the critical winter that opens on the horizon, but also the long-term support interventions. According to the information so far, Mr. Mitsotakis, from the platform of the TIF, will announce:
– New subsidies for electricity-natural gas-fuel.
– Relief measures against accuracy.
– Abolition of the solidarity levy for all citizens.
– Increase in pensions, after twelve years.
– New increase in the minimum wage.
– “Cheap” housing program for young couples and young workers.
– Maintaining the reduced VAT in catering, transport, coffee, etc.
– Suspension of 24% VAT on construction for two years.