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Home arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg's f. MEP Samaras' win in Greek main opposition party ND may have EU impact on Spring 2010

Strasbourg's f. MEP Samaras' win in Greek main opposition party ND may have EU impact on Spring 2010

Written by ACM
Sunday, 29 November 2009

 

zapio


The unexpectedly strong win on Sunday by a former Strasbourg's EU Parliament's EuroMP in the 1st popular elections for the new Leader of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy (ND, center-right), may trigger far-reaching repercussions in Europe's present geo-political context, even before an important rendez-vous set for Spring 2010.

Antonis Samaras, an energetic outsider aged 58, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and EuroMP (2004-2007),  won a landslide victory versus several competitors, including the experienced former Foreign MInister and Mayor Dora Bakogiani, (daughter of former Prime Minister Mitsotakis), for the presidency of the ND party which governed Greece between 2004 and 2009 with Costas Caramanlis, before declaring unexpectedly early national elections last October and losing the government to the Socialist party PASOK, led by US-born George Papandreou, (who comes 3rd in a row of 3 Prime Ministers in 3 Generations in his family-tree).

Obviously inspired by the pre-electoral style of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Samaras, who cited explicitly German Chancelor Angie Merkel in his latest speech last Friday, 27/11/09, stressed that he wants to give "hope" to the People, stimulate a lively debate of "Ideas", make a "Democratic Revolution" against bureaucratic "Mecanisms" of old Systems, and succeed a "real Change" for "all the country", by a "rupture" vis a vis the establishment, in order to revitalize and renew a center-right popular movement able to attract citizens from a large political spectrum, but not afraid to clearly speak out on its values.

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This apparently stimulated grassroots' movemens and citizens all over the country, who rushed massivey to vote, surprising the system to the point that the electronic network broke down and organizers had to prolonge for hours the electoral process in order to give time to all voters to participate in the 1st ever election of ND's leader by its members and sympathizers, and not by the apparatus.

Earlier this week in Strasbourg, EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Mrs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, openly endorsed Samaras candidacy, stressing that he was "able to combine (Greece's) national interests with European interests".

rodi

Rodi Kratsa, who had contributed also to a collective Think-tank for France's EU-¨Presidency in 2008, and had officially welcomed President Sarkozy at his 1st visit in EU Parliament as early as since November 2007c, speaking to "EuroFora" betore Samara's win, said that it was important to make good use of the short time available to clearly explain to the People Samara's candidacy through all available Media, (including Radios, Internet, etc).

Exceptionally, the campaign had also another Strasbourg's link at EU Parliament, since ND's new EuroMP, Georges Cumutsakos, as he said to "EuroFora", had to share his time between EU votes and debates, and his duties as ND's Spokesman, obliged to reply to several questions and make statements on the way this unprecedented electoral process was going on..

An obvious point of EU interest is that Samaras, who is generally considered as more critical on Turkey than his predecessor, (unwilling, unable or hindered to really change PASOK's former policy in favor of Ankara), may add a new potential ally to French President Sarkozuchy and German Chancellor Merkel's well known opposal to Turkey's controversial, expensive and unpopular EU bid : Recently, they seem to focus much more on strict respect of EU's conditions, and Samaras' Greece could certainly be able to provide France and Germany many rock-solid reasons, such as Turkish Mlitary Airplanes' overflights of the Aegean Sea (sometilmes even deadly), oppression of Christian Minorities' Human Rights, Cyprus, etc.

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(1st EU Parliament's vice-President Rodi Kratsa Photo welcomes French President Sarkozy at his 1st visit at EU Parliament, οn November 2007, together with former EU Parliament's President Poettering)

As far as Government is concerned, a crucial Rendez-vous is March 2010, because, according to the Greek Constitution, a new President of the Republic has to be elected by a 2/3rds Majority of MPs. The current PASOK Government lacking such a majority, if it doesn't agree with Samara's ND on a common candidate, it could be obliged to dissolve the Parliament and declare new elections, according to the rules. If Samaras' ChristianDemocrat/EPP party wins such national elections on Spring 2010, while both Sarkozy and Merkel still have a strlyong political mandate, then, many things may hapen next...

But even independenty of such a scenario, the current Prime Minister, Georges Papandreou (also well-known in Strasbourg since he had chaired the CoE as former Minister for EU affairs, as early as back since 1998), who already has to fight a hard struggle to defend the country's Economy from heavy Debts coming mainly from the Past Decades during which his own party, PASOK, holded the Government, could not totally ignore a "strong criticism", as Samaras has promised, from the main opposition party ND, particularly if it is based on new ideas which could become very popular.

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