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Local Elections Run-off

Following the second round of local elections yesterday, the ruling PASOK party won the majority of regional governorships (8 to 5).
In municipal elections and -despite a high abstention rate- there was a change of leadership in the three major cities.
In Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, the former Ombudsman, won the mayorship, with the support of Pasok, after defeating the incumbent New Democracy (ND) mayor, Nikitas Kaklamanis.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, the independent Yiannis Boutaris, supported by Pasok, defeated ND-backed candidate Costas Gioulekas, while in Pireus, Vassilis Michaloliakos, supported by ND defeated Pasok candidate Yiannis Michas.
Commenting on the results, Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the citizens “rejected the sirens of destabilisation and gave the government a clear three years of work to enable it to continue the effort for the country’s salvation and recovery.”
The premier also called on all political parties to “assume responsibility” and work together with the aim of saving the country. Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said that “the second round confirmed the political conclusions of the first Sunday” and gave the opportunity to his party to emerge “renewed, strong and responsible.”
For more information: Ministry of Interior, Decentralization and E-Government: Regional & Municipal Elections 2010 Results (in Greek); Kathimerini Daily: Pasok gets regional upper hand; YouTube: PM’s nationwide televised press statement (in Greek)
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Greek PM Karamanlis in Sweden

karsou3(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived in Stockholm on Monday for talks with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt in light of the Sweden’s assumption of the EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2009. Dealing with the ongoing international economic crisis, EU enlargement, combating climate change, and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty were the main subjects of discussion between the two leaders. Karamanlis briefed the Swedish side over Greece’s positions on Cyprus, Greece’s interest in Balkan development and the region’s Euro-Atlantic prospects. Regarding Turkey’s accession prospect, the premier reiterated that Athens supports it, as long as Turkey completely and effectively fulfils  the commitments it has undertaken vis-à-vis the EU. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Sweden

Greek PM: Talking for International Crisis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said on Thursday that the government has a clear plan to handle the international economic crisis which, as he stressed, is more intense now than in the past and is on Greece’s doorstep. The premier spoke following Finance and Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou’s presentation of the stability and growth programme, and noted that the government’s responsible and stable policy guarantees a better future for all citizens. He said that government policy is based on three targets: ensuring growth, reducing waste and supporting the poor. Karamanlis emphasised that with the new stability and growth programme, following the revision of evaluations of all the international organisations as well, “the government is taking all factors into consideration with a new policy. No country and no society can handle the international crisis by itself. However, we can, with a specific programme, prevent the grave repercussions with realism and with a stable policy.”