The 3.5bn euro financial package announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) was viewed by most – whether political opponents, the media, or citizens – who listened carefully to the measures that it entails as a harbinger of early elections, despite the PM personal assurances the next day that he intends to serve out his full, four-year term.
The perceived intention that most people saw behind the wording of his pledges was denied categorically by the government, which argued that tax breaks and other relief measures are simply a “growth dividend”, and not handouts that pave the way for the government to seek a fresh mandate.
“The rationale of the measures is to stimulate growth,” is the constant refrain of government cadres both in public statements and in private discussions.
Past experience, however, reinforces the expectation of snap elections.
Previous governments used to make pledges to so many categories of voters only when they had the prospect of an electoral surprise in mind.
Certainly, there is a possibility that those who expect early elections will be proven wrong, especially if the opinion of well-informed sources that Mitsotakis’ projection of a 5.9 percent growth rate is conservative.
If the Greek economy indeed performs better than projected, it seems reasonable to return a portion of that growth to citizens.