Reflection of Economic Development on Greek Elections

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Greece has historically been a key player for the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Although they had various economic difficulties, these organizations showed their support to the Athens administration many times. The Greece economy also showed its influence in the elections. As a matter of fact, it is seen that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has increased his work focused on economic development.

It is possible to say that the reforms made in Greece have worked relatively well. Because the Greek economy experienced a decrease in the current and capital account deficit in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.[1] The Greece economy is improving today compared to the crisis in 2010. The report published by the Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies can be mentioned as another development showing the growth of the Greece economy.

In the said report, it was stated that the premium production of insurance companies operating in the country grew by 6.8 percent compared to the same period of 2022.[2] Therefore, it is possible to state that the Greece economy has shown a stable development. Because the government has many policies in this regard. One of the remarkable policies is the tourism subsidies planned for 2023 with a total budget of 150 million euros.[3]

The economic recovery in Greece also attracts the attention of the international community. It is obvious that the relationship between democracy and economy is very important especially for the EU. It is seen that the stable recovery in the country also gives confidence to foreign capital. In a statement given by bank analysts dealing with Greek government debt, they expressed their opinion that Greece has returned to an investment grade credit rating.[4] All these developments in the economy also contribute to the prestige of the Greek government. Because, in the event of the victory of the New Democracy in the elections, there was a great public opinion that reforms that support political stability and economic growth would be implemented, and there were opinions that this would pave the way for credit improvements.[5]

The economic recovery in Greece shows that Mitsotakis has erased the traces of the economic crisis experienced in the past. It is also stated that close relations with both NATO and the EU contribute to political stability as well as economic stability. In particular, as an indicator of good relations with the United States of America (USA), the US State Department’s recognition of Greece as an “indispensable NATO ally and partner” reflected positively on the Greek people’s view of the government.[6] In addition, the US International Development Finance Corporation’s approval of a 125 million dollars loan for Elefsis Shipyards will be an important step for Greece’s prosperity.[7] Based on all these developments, although the continuation of the Mitsotakis administration is considered certain, in the elections that took place on May 21, 2023, Mitsotakis could not achieve an absolute victory despite receiving approximately 41% of the votes.[8]

It is possible to say that the most important obstacle to the definitive victory of the New Democracy Party is the train disaster in the recent past. As a matter of fact, it was obvious that this tragic event would cause the government to pay a political price.[9] Although the government paid the bill of the train tragedy and faced the public’s reaction, it is thought that the New Democracy Party will win in the second round on June 25, 2023. In particular, Mitsotakis said, “The people wanted a Greek election led by the majority government and by the New Democracy Party without the help of others.” his statement sheds light on the Greek will at the point of the second round.

Although Greece’s going to the second round in the elections led the government to self-criticism about various policies, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) was the real question in these elections. Because the main opposition party lost 11% of votes and it was seen that new ways were started to be sought for a more effective opposition. This heavy loss of votes of SYRIZA is more than the success of Mitsotakis; it can be interpreted as the failure of SYRIZA. It has been understood that the electorate has dispersed to parties such as the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and the European Realistic Disobedience Front (MERA), especially known for their centre-left views. However, it should not be forgotten that the voters who changed their minds mostly turned to Mitsotakis. It is possible to argue that a serious confusion has arisen in the SYRIZA administration, which was shaken by the shock of the said failure.

In the last instance, there is a strong public perception that the New Democracy Party will win, although there is no winner yet in the elections in Greece. It is possible to say that both the government’s steps in foreign policy and the reforms towards the Greek economy were effective in spreading this perception to large masses.

[1] “Drop Recorded in Greece’s Current Account Deficit”, Ekathimerini, deficit/, (Date of Accession: 23.05.2023).

[2] “SYRIZA Turmoil as Senior MP Resigns”, Ekathimerini,, (Date of Accession: 24.05.2023).

[3] “Financial Aid for SMEs in Tourism”, Ekathimerini,, (Date of Accession: 23.05.2023).

[4] “Greece’s Bonds Trade as if Onvestment Grade Already Achieved”, Ekathimerini, achieved, (Date of Accession: 27.05.2023).

[5] “DBRS: Sunday’s Vote Could Lead to credit Improvement for Greece”, Ekathimerini, improvement-for-greece, (Date of Accession: 24.05.2023).

[6] “US State Department Affirms Greece as Indispensable NATO Ally, No Update on F-35 Sale”, Ekathimerini, indispensable-nato-ally-no-update-on-f-35-sale, (Date of Accession: 24.05.2023).

[7] “US International Development Finance Corp Approves $125 mln Loan for Elefsis Shipyards”, Ekathimerini, approves-125-mln-loan-for-elefsis-shipyards/, (Date of Accession: 20.05.2023).

[8] “After No Outright Victory, Greek PM to Get Mandate for Coalition”, Ekathimerini, mandate-for-coalition/, (Date of Accession: 22.05.2023).

[9] “Pivotal Events on the Campaign Trail”, Ekathimerini,, (Date of Accession: 20.05.2023).