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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

Parašė ACM
Sunday, November 29, 2009

 

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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".

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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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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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