A victory for Greece’s New Democracy is good news for Israel

Date: 23/05/2023 Time: 09:52

Barry μικρή 1 By Barry Shaw

Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s victory in the May Greek election is a win for Israel and Greek relations.

Mitsotakis has been a staunch leader in the growing Greece- Cyprus- Israel triangle that have held eight summits in recent years to strengthen the triangular interests in trade, energy and security needs of all three countries.

A plan on the drawing boards would have Israeli offshore natural gas brought to a new liquification plant in Cyprus before being transferred through Europe via Greece.

Greece and Cyprus are also members of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which Israel and Egypt founded.

Mitsotakis and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu share similar ideas on the economy, free trade, security, and regional politics.

It will be interesting to see how Mitsotakis builds his ruling coalition after winning almost 41% of the national vote on 21 May.

His party is five seats short of a 151-seat majority and he choose to go for a second election in June in order to try and form an overall majority releasing him of the need to form a coalition with any other party, particularly those with vastly different politics and world views than him.

A ruling, unfettered, conservative government will enable him to push through his modernization plans for Greece.

However, to do that, he will have to hand back the mandate he just received and bet that the two left wing parties will lose even more support in a summer election giving him an overall majority.

This is a political gamble but one that Mitsotakis seems willing to take.

Israel is watching Greek developments with great interest.

Barry Shaw, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

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