Greece will hold parliamentary election in spring, PM says

FILE PHOTO: Budget vote in Athens

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will hold a parliamentary election in the spring, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday, confirming local media reports that the government was considering a ballot around April.

Mitsotakis' term ends in July and elections will be held under a proportional representation system, which makes it difficult for any candidate to win outright, increasing the chances of a second vote and a period of heightened political uncertainty.

"Elections will be held in the spring, essentially at a point when we will have practically exhausted our four-year term," the conservative premier told reporters during a tour in the northern Evros region.

The leader of the New Democracy party, which is ahead in the latest opinion polls, added that he would run as a candidate in Evros for symbolic reasons.

In 2020, tens of thousands of asylum-seekers tried to cross into the European Union through Greece's land border with Turkey in Evros after Ankara said it would no longer prevent migrants from attempting the crossing.

Tensions between Greece and Turkey, historic rivals but also NATO allies, have flared up again in recent months.

Turkey's presidential and parliamentary election is scheduled to take place on June 18 and may be brought forward.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Renee Maltezou; Editing by Helen Popper)