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Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Both PASOK and New Democracy are tired

26 November 2010 / 13:11:35  GRReporter
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A Mitsotakis is bound to have a Marshall scepter with him and yet. The son of Konstantinos Mitsotakis, former prime minister of Greece and Honorary President of New Democracy, talks with Victoria Mindova about his political ambitions, the economic crisis and the green technologies without hiding his bitterness and his hopes.

You have graduated at the best universities in the world (Harvard and Stanford University) and you could work anywhere. Why did you come back in Greece and what was the main reason to engage in politics except for heredity you obviously carry?

I have lived outside Greece many years and it is a fact that my education and work allow me to have a very good career abroad. I decided to go back to Greece and engage with politics because I believed and still believe, as romantic it may sound, that if we ourselves do not get down to work to change the things we do not like in our own country no one else would do it. I am tired of people who only criticize and when they are asked to change something they disappear.

Unfortunately, we are a country where self-interest reigns over the common one. We can not easily sacrifice some of our own goods so as to serve the common interest. My choice to become a politician was precisely determined by the need for change and this in no way means that it is the only career choice that I have. Availability of alternatives enables me to move more freely in today's world and to do the things the way I believe is right.

A Mitsotakis is bound to have the Marshall scepter with him. What are your political ambitions and where do you see your political future - in New Democracy, in Dora Bakoyannis’ party or somewhere else?

I choose to stay in the ranks of New Democracy that elected me a parliament member and honoured me with its confidence and entrusted me with certain tasks. I want to be a part of the party improvement and I think I have something to give in this fight. My goals are not linked to any particular post that I want to reach by all means. Actually, I want my conscience to be calm, which is not always easy in politics. I want to be calm when I go to bed at night and when I get up in the morning. My goals begin and end with me being as better as possible at what I am doing. The throne is not an end. It is important to give the best of yourself.

Yes, but the higher position gives greater opportunity to make changes where you deem necessary so that things go in the right direction.

The position could allow making changes in certain things to a greater degree but we must not underestimate the power of political speech, the power to influence through the speech that shapes the views and perceptions of the surrounding world. If all the people at different posts in Greece were giving the best of themselves, we would have miracles here.

I am currently responsible for environmental issues – an issue I have been dealing with for a long time. In this position I fight the party to obtain a more up-to-date platform on environment protection issues. I fight on another field at the same time. It is quite broad and is within the public activity I am engaged in. There I turn to all who want to listen to me to convince them that we could change for the better and  that we should not always fear changes if we have a clear purpose. In the short term, this change may seem painful, but it will allow releasing much of the Greek economy so as to turn our country into a better place to live, for ourselves and our children.

As I understand, you are talking about the so-called green economy. The term has become very popular in recent years. Could you explain what it actually means?

Your question is correct, because everyone could have their own interpretation of the term green economy. For me personally this is any business that uses natural advantages and protects the environment. This could be the utilization of renewable energy sources or more efficient waste management, application of new technologies that are saving energy - it is a fairly wide range of activities, which is based on the logic that our planet has limited natural sources of energy which we should exploit better. Their more effective use creates many new opportunities for economic activity. That is how I understand the green economy.

What is the role of the state in the catalytic processes for implementation of green practices?

The state plays a key role by placing a framework of incentives and disincentives, which outlines the direction of the local economy. This could be done by adjusting the prices at which electricity is sold. They will in turn determine the development of the energy market - if there are sufficient incentives to the type of production the investment will be directed that way. This is not enough, of course. It takes a more serious overall investments policy that will facilitate business and entrepreneurship at the state level. This is a problem that now faces Greece - how to make the country more attractive for investments.

Tags: PoliticsKyriakos MitsotakisVictoria Mindova
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