GREEK ELECTIONS Greek conservatives tipped to oust leftists in early election


Greeks go to the polls next Sunday in a snap election widely viewed as a two-horse race between incumbent leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and opposition conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis, scion of a powerful political family.

The conservatives are expected to ride a wave of anger over continuing austerity measures to seize power from Tsipras’s leftists.

Syriza stormed to power in 2015 on the back of a popular backlash against painful economic reforms in the crisis-hit country, which has required billions in bailouts from foreign lenders since 2010, but shortly after gaining power on an anti-austerity platform, Tsipras, 44, was forced to relent to a new unpopular bailout plan, and more austerity, to stave off bankruptcy.

All polls point to a victory for Mitsotakis, 51, an ex-venture capitalist who assumed the helm of New Democracy in early 2016 and has focused his campaign on promises to ease Greek’s pain by cutting taxes, unblocking privatisations, increasing investments and state efficiency.