New Democracy (ND) will be very soon called upon “to play its historic role,” Former Prime Minister and party leader Antonis Samaras said, chairing the first meeting of the party’s executive secretariat since losing the Greek national elections on January 25.
Samaras said that ND stood tall and only lost 107,000 votes compared to the 2012 election.
He denied responsibility for not handing over the government headquarters in person to the new PM and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras saying, “I was the one calling to congratulate him on Sunday night,” and denied that he had personally attacked the new Premier, while “Mr. Tsipras was the one swearing at ND.”
“ND’s justification will come soon,” he added and charged that there was a shortage of voting personnel at voting stations on election day, while there was no representation during the campaign period in regional mass media. He also charged that the reforms agenda was not publicized enough and that from now on, he would focus on “supporting the middle class, which is the party’s and Greek society’s backbone.” He added, “We will support and be supported by the middle class.”
The Former PM attacked the new Greek government, saying, “We want Greece to firmly be in Europe and NATO,” and added that “if the government’s obsessions undermine basic stability factors, then ND will react.” He was optimistic that “developments will justify us.”
The party leader named the new parliamentary representatives – Former Ministers Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Adonis Georgiadis and Yiannis Vroutsis – with Anna-Michelle Assimakopoulou as secretary and Nikitas Kaklamanis as one of the Parliament’s Vice Presidents. He also said an informal political council would include all of them, like Former Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis and other members who have not been designated yet.
Samaras noted that his election motto “truth and responsibility” has now changed to “unity”, while he said the party should neither relax nor become introverted. “They temporarily won with lies,” he said, referring to SYRIZA’s victory, and added that “this will not continue – the party will be called very soon to play again its historic role. Optimism is now the most important factor. We stood tall, while they are face to face with their responsibilities and contradictions.”
Karamanlis to meet Bakoyannis as New Democracy broods
Former Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and ex-Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis are due to meet on Friday as ND considers ways to absorb the impact from its election defeat on Sunday.
Sources said that Bakoyannis asked for the meeting with Karamanlis, who has met several ND officials over the past few days. There is no indication at the moment that anyone is considering mounting a leadership challenge against party leader Samaras, but a number of conservatives have suggested that there should be a contest.