“First of all, as was seen from the first round, where the political balances are reflected and there are all the candidates, from all factions – because this is how parliamentary elections are held, they are held with all parties, and not with a second round with two choices – in In 12 of the 13 cases, we had the same or higher percentages than the parliamentary elections, in the respective regions. And in fact in 11 out of 13 we were first in the first round. So when you support some people, when you go into a battle, the goal is to win it,” the government spokesman emphasized Pavlos Marinakis in a televised interview on the main news bulletin of ERT NEWS, he was asked to comment on whether the goal set by the ND to win the regions and municipalities in the self-governing elections was realistic.

He also explained about whether something went wrong, to the extent that the goal was realistic and was not achieved: “A party in power does not set a goal, very low, to get at most one district and if it wins two or one and a half, say I won. A party in power addresses the citizens, comes forward with the prime minister first, the prime minister did not hide. While the balances were recorded in the first round where the citizens gave greater percentage support to the choices of the prime minister and the New Democracy, in almost all regions and nationwide many units more than in June, we come forward and support our choices”.

He also added that “all the parties and political forces in the regions and the three major municipalities and some parties in some other municipalities have chosen a person to support for these elections. Mind you, if it was complete and only in the narrow sense of the term partisanship, we would not support Mr. Arnautakis in Crete. These choices were based on the persons we judged, first of all the prime minister, to be the most suitable to be helpers in the reform work of the government at the level of Local Government. I bring Mr. Arnautakis as an example. Mr. Arnautakis does not come from the ND area and was elected in 2019, while we had another choice in Crete. However, because he was a worthy regional governor, who absorbed the money very quickly, he advanced great projects from the large amount of money given by the government to the Local Government, from all the programs given to the municipalities and the regions for that matter, he supported and from the ND and was elected. So there were no party criteria.”

Then, he emphasized that “whatever the citizens decide is obviously absolutely respected and we will follow it faithfully, because this is how it should be done in democracies, and you must respect the election result and serve it in both the first and second level of Local Government. However, we said that we believe that these options we shortlisted were better to be helpful in our reform work at the Self-Government level.”

“So tomorrow what will the prime minister say to Mr. Kureta, be nice to us so that we can be nice to you?”, was asked by the journalist. And the government representative replied: “The prime minister has given credentials of full institutionality and cooperation, four years, with all the local governments. And cooperation in difficult situations, such as very large natural disasters, unprecedented for all previous years. He does not bring party identities when he goes down to Thessaly or Evros and cooperates with everyone, as he has a duty and does in practice. Because Local Government is not only elections. Elections are the end of a term. In these four years he received, what money he had not received cumulatively all the previous ones”.

He even underlined that “the money to the Local Government is not given based on the origin of the regional governor or the mayor. They are given based on the approvals that exist in the integration of the projects”.

Regarding the statements that may have “confused the matter”, Mr. Marinakis clarified that “No compensation, no project, no funding in any municipality and in any region depends on the party origin of the candidate and then the regional governor or the mayor , of any municipality, of any region. And we have governed for four years, the prime minister and this government.”

Referring to the fact that “PASOK says it did very well in these elections”, Mr. Marinakis pointed out: “I don’t have this image that PASOK elected more, but in any case it elected a number of mayors in 2019 as well. If there is even and half a complaint from any self-governing body, that any ND minister, or the government in general, underfunded a Municipality due to political origins, froze a project or froze a NSRF, or any project development due to the fact that we do not identify politically, because we do not have the same party origin, this complaint would have come out. There is no such thing. The treasure is coal, the fairy tale has no dragon. A statement of Mr. Avgenakis was used according to Koron. We will cooperate with all the municipalities and I will tell you something. Because they say “a resounding slap to the government” and I also hear statements from other political leaders, I think we have seen another self-governing election.”

Mr. Marinakis, as during the briefing of the political editors he used the example of Thessaloniki, emphasized that the government is a “government of 41% which succeeded and had a very important electoral success in the first round of the self-governing elections which were all parties, all factions and faced each other”. He also commented on the statements of Mr. Androulakis who talked about a strategic, major defeat of the prime minister but also the statements of Mr. Kasselakis saying “this is not good for the opposition we have. But if we have such an opposition, then this is a problem for the opposition.”

The government representative acknowledged that some of the government’s choices were not justified at the ballot box, but said that they do not believe in the word political sovereignty but in the trust that is built every day.

In closing, when asked to comment on developments in the Middle East, he referred to the Prime Minister’s communication with the Turkish president in order, as he said, to avoid a humanitarian crisis and added: “Our position is clear, we are with Israel and its right to self-defense . An unprecedented brutality happened in the previous days there, we saw inhuman images. From here on, our position is clear, but certainly as a country we must emphasize the need to avoid a humanitarian crisis”.

Regarding whether the Greek-Turkish approach can go backwards due to developments in the Middle East, he emphasized that the Greek side believes in dialogue. “We have started a process which, in fact, is progressing today at the level of confidence-building measures, at the level of deputy ministers and government officials. We believe that this dialogue is to the benefit of both sides. Obviously we have different positions on many issues, as in the Middle East in this particular case, we are in no mood to back down on our sovereign positions, nor are our sovereign rights even in question. From here on, dialogue is beneficial, but everything is constantly evaluated,” he stressed.