The Greek parliamentary elections may be the first European parliamentary vote feedback among the member states of the European Union. In this regard, it was observed that the Greek leftist prime minister dissolved the parliament after the defeat of his party in the European Parliamentary elections and announced early elections. As expected, dissatisfaction with the four-year performance of the Syriza Party led by Alexis Tsipras, was very high, and for this reason, Tsipras failed to meet the people’s demands in this round of the European parliamentary elections; therefore, his rival party, New Democracy, won the majority of the votes.
In fact, the New Democracy Party was able to achieve this victory because of the people’s deep dissatisfaction with the government of Tsipras.
In the past four years, Tsipras has been struggling to improve the economic conditions in Greece but was forced to accept the policy of economic austerity due to pressures from the European Union to balance its debt and budget deficit and save Greece from bankruptcy.
Therefore, we witnessed that most of the New Democracy Party’s slogans were about economic reforms, job creation, and tax cuts. Perhaps the most important axis of the New Democracy Party’s agenda was an economic debate in the first place and later on the issue of asylum seekers and immigrants raised by New Democracy leader and new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsutakis.
Given the conditions prevailing in Europe, and considering that Greece is one of the destinations for asylum seekers and immigrants to Europe, the right-wing parties now have to adopt stricter policies towards immigrants and asylum seekers.
This could make adoption of immigration policy in the European Union harder and it would expose countries closer to the Mediterranean coast to a wave of refugees.
So the most important consequence of the victory of the center-right New Democracy Party in Greece is the tightening of the adoption of common immigration policies and tension between EU members on the issue of immigration between countries such as Italy, Greece, Hungary and Poland on the one hand and countries like France and Germany on the other hand. Because Germany and France believe that the Dublin Accord must still be enforced, and asylum seekers entering Europe should be registered in the very first country they step in. This is a policy that effectively challenges the Dublin Accord in the face of Italy’s serious opposition to immigrants and the disagreement of the new Greek government in allowing immigrants in.
As for economic measures, the new Greek government is not expected to be able to take actions more effective than the Tsipras government to improve the economic conditions and satisfy the people.
Because Greece has debts as big as almost 180% of its budget and most of these debts have been received in the form of several portions amounting to tens of billions of euros from the International Monetary Fund and the EU Central Bank.
These loans should be repaid over time, which will be subject to austerity policies and making revenues for their repayment.
It should also be noted that the New Democracy Party led by Kyriakos Mitsutakis is a center-right party and not an extreme right-wing party, and therefore his policies are different from the hardline policies of Donald Trump in the United States or the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini.
Finally, considering that Mitsutakis has pledged to accelerate the protection of the Greek frontiers and sending economic refugees back to Turkey, it now poses the question as to what course will Greece-Turkey relations take under the influence of these policies.
In this regard, it must be noted that the tension between Turkey and Greece is not a new issue, and the two countries have historical differences on various issues.
Of course, whenever the center-right parties have taken over in Greece the issue of the differences between Greece and Turkey has become more complicated. On the other hand, given the positions taken by the new prime minister of Greece, the prospect of relations between the two countries would be slightly more ambiguous and the differences between Turkey and Greece would escalate.