ATHENS (Reuters) – Conservative politician Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister on Monday after storming to victory on a pledge to create jobs and lure funding to the economically stricken nation.
Mitsotakis’s New Democracy occasion gained an outright majority with 158 seats within the 300-seat legislature. His pledges for extra investments, well-paid jobs and fewer taxes gained over Greeks worn out by years of EU-prescribed austerity and the euro zone’s highest unemployment.
“In the present day we get began on the laborious work. I’ve absolute confidence in our skills to rise to the event,” Mitsotakis mentioned after he was sworn in at a ceremony officiated by Greek Orthodox clergy on the presidential palace in Athens.
He was later welcomed by outgoing premier Alexis Tsipras, a leftist who steered Greece out of bailouts, however was blamed for botching negotiations with worldwide lenders and saddling the nation with extra debt after he took over in 2015.
“Sturdy mandate for giant modifications,” conservative Kathimerini newspaper mentioned on its entrance web page.
One other conservative-leaning paper, Ta Nea, mentioned Mitsotakis now had “absolute domination”, making him an “omnipotent prime minister” for the subsequent 4 years.
On the Athens inventory alternate the change of guard was greeted with profit-taking after a robust rally in earlier days. The blue chip share index .ATF shed 1.7%, led by financial institution shares.
“It’s largely a ‘purchase the rumor, promote the information’ session. Shares had a robust run, anticipating the election outcome. Quick-term merchants are actually closing positions, locking in earnings,” mentioned funding adviser Theodore Mouratidis.
On the fixed-income aspect, authorities bond yields tumbled to new all-time lows. The yield on 10-year authorities paper fell by as a lot as 14 foundation factors to 2.014%.
“Greek sovereign debt is buying and selling at yield ranges in keeping with an investment-grade ranking,” mentioned Markus Allenspach, head of fastened revenue analysis at Julius Baer in a observe. “i.e. the market has priced in a whole lot of constructive growth from right here.”
Greeks hope the brand new authorities could make the financial system work higher after the nation emerged from the shut surveillance of its worldwide lenders final yr. The financial system is now rising at a reasonable clip, increasing by 1.three p.c on an annual foundation within the first quarter.
EAST MEDITERRANEAN TENSIONS
For Mitsotakis, nevertheless, the primary take a look at is prone to come from outdoors Greece, as tensions simmer between its shut ally Cyprus and historic foe Turkey over offshore vitality reserves.
Cyprus has found pure fuel offshore lately, however its jurisdiction has been challenged by Turkey, which helps a breakaway state within the north of the island.
On Monday Cyprus condemned what it referred to as an infringement of its sovereign rights by Turkey after Ankara despatched a second drill ship to probe for oil and fuel off the island.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was the primary international chief to name to congratulate Mitsotakis on Sunday night, aides to the Greek chief mentioned. On Monday Turkey’s international ministry mentioned it hoped bilateral relations might be additional enhanced below Mitsotakis’s stewardship.
“To this finish, we need to swiftly revitalize current dialogue channels and begin our contacts as quickly as potential to handle points on our agenda,” international ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy mentioned.
Final month, European Union leaders warned Turkey to finish its fuel drilling in waters round Cyprus or face motion from the bloc. Cypriot international ministry officers final week mentioned they might take authorized motion towards any firm encroaching on its maritime areas with out license.
Extra reporting and writing by Michele Kambas; Enhancing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Gareth Jones