Speaking with journalists as he arrived in Brussels on Thursday ahead of the European Council meeting, Mitsotakis said he hoped the opposition leader’s departure would improve the quality of political debate.
“I think the decision was to be expected… after three crushing defeats suffered by SYRIZA and himself personally,” Mitsotakis said.
“Syriza, both in government and in opposition, was a party characterised by toxicity, divisive rhetoric and with striking inefficiency.
“Political parties must unite citizens and propose realistic, cost-effective and workable solutions to people’s problems — a road SYRIZA has never taken. I sincerely hope it does now.”
Earlier on Thursday, Tsipras announced he was stepping down as SYRIZA leader to allow for a “deep renewal and re-establishment” of the party.
“I understand the need for a new wave in SYRIZA. And I decided to step aside. I have confidence in the human capital of our party, in the inexhaustible forces of society and the Left,” Tsipras said in a televised statement.
Tsipras, who served as Greece’s prime minister from 2015 to 2019 during politically tumultuous years, is expected to stay on as leader until his successor is elected by the party membership this weekend.
His decision to resign came after Sunday’s general election where the left-wing SYRIZA party received just under 18% percent of the vote while the winning New Democracy party topped 40%.