Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed the party’s 15th two-day Convention (April 5-7) underway at Zappeion Hall in Athens on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding. In his speech, the PM urged all “patriotic citizens” to take part in the upcoming European elections and avoid casting “protest votes”.

Mitsotakis called on New Democracy (ND) members and voters to avoid “complacency” in light of the European elections in June. “The upcoming elections are not conducive to indifference, inertia, or abstention,” he emphasized. “We ask citizens to say a big yes to stability, continuity, and sureness,” he said.

Among the dignitaries attending the ND Convention is the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber. In his speech, Weber praised the Greek PM, noting that Mitsotakis was one of the leading figures providing support for Ukraine in the war against Russia. “You are leading Europe’s support for Ukraine. You responded to Putin’s bombing only a few hundred meters from where you were meeting President Zelensky, by sending more weapons to Ukraine.”

On the issue of illegal migration, Weber stated that no one could blackmail the EU thanks to the strong Greek government. “You [Mitsotakis] have always stood up to Erdogan [Turkish President] to protect our European borders”, the head of the EPP said.

The German politician called the Greek PM one of the strongest voices in the European Council who commanded respect from the international community, adding that he had managed to restore confidence in a strong Greece, both in Europe and, most importantly, among the Greek citizens.

A slew of ND high-profile figures took to the podium including Greek Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis who said Greece was now considered a “success story” referring to the country’s impressive economic recovery under the conservative government’s policies.

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias in his speech stressed that New Democracy was the party of reforms that had always stood by the less fortunate, the low-pensioners, the unemployed, “those whom Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government supports”.

Health Minister and ND Vice President Adonis Georgiadis after referring to the significant changes and battles that the party has fought over time to keep Greece in Europe, said: “We are the party of Europe, the party of Greece, the party of the homeland.”