site.btaUPDATED Leaders of Greece's Two Main Parties Say Responsibility for Country's Future Lies in Hands of Citizens
The leaders of the two main parties in Greece, the ruling party New Democracy and the left-wing opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), conveyed different messages when they voted in Sunday's parliamentary elections, but their common message was that on this day the citizens hold the future of the country in their hands.
Prime Minister and leader of New Democracy party Kyriakos Mitsotakis cast his vote Sunday morning in Athens.
"Today we vote for our future. We are voting for higher wages, for more and better jobs. We are voting for a more efficient healthcare system, for a society with fewer inequalities, for a stronger homeland with a significant role in Europe, with secure borders," Mitsotakis told reporters in the courtyard of the school where he voted.
He said that elections are a celebration of democracy. "Today the responsibility for the governance of the country passes into your hands, into those of the citizens, but I am quite sure that tomorrow we will witness a better day for the country," Mitsotakis said before he was surrounded by supporters wanting to take a picture with him.
Leader of SYRIZA party and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras also cast his vote in Athens.
After voting, Tsipras told the media that "citizens hold in their hands the opportunity to realise the majority's wish for a change in the country's direction. To leave behind four harsh, difficult years of inequality, injustice, the pursuit of profit alone, job insecurity, auctions against debtors, the absence of a decent life for pensioners and assaults on young people." He reiterated his call for a government of "progressive cooperation" so that there is, as he said, "hope for a better tomorrow".
In the latest polls, the gap between the two parties was just over 6% in favour of New Democracy, but the final result will determine which of the different scenarios for forming a government or new elections will be pursued.