Supporter wave Greek flags as Greek opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center, speaks during his main election campaign rally in Athens, in front of the ancient Acropolis hill, on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Greeks head to the polls in early general elections on Sunday, July 7. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greek election: Voters crave return to mainstream politics

July 05, 2019 - 4:43 am

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek voters appear set to defy a surge of support populist parties across Europe in a general election Sunday, with the pro-EU center-right opposition firmly in the lead.

Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the snap poll after being trounced in May's European parliamentary elections by Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative New Democracy. Opinion polls have suggested the 51-year-old Mitsotakis has held onto his strong lead.

Mitsotakis is a strong supporter of European integration, while Tsipras has aligned many of his policies with the European Socialists ahead of the Greek election which is being held three months ahead of schedule.

Support for the government has been hit by high taxes and tough spending measures imposed during years of financial crisis and international bailouts.

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