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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-03-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain on Monday
  • [02] Karamanlis to receive mandate to form government at 1:00
  • [03] Elections: Vote count nearly completed - ND secures165 seats in
  • [04] New Democracy party wins elections; new gov't expected on Tuesday
  • [05] ND leads PASOK by 6.74 percent with 40% of the votes counted
  • [06] PM-elect Karamanlis sets new government's priorities
  • [07] ND leads PASOK by 6.57 percent with nearly one-third of the votes
  • [08] New ND government expected to be sworn-in on Tuesday

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain on Monday

    08/03/2004 13:32:17

    Rain was forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with storms in the north and west, and temperatures ranging from 1 to 14 C.

    Athens will be overcast, turning to light drizzle in the early afternoon and the possibility of storms later in the day, while temperatures will range from 4 to 12 C. The same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 1-8 C.

    [02] Karamanlis to receive mandate to form government at 1:00

    08/03/2004 11:29:28

    New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis will meet with President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos at 1:00 p.m. Monday to receive a mandate for forming a government, following his New Democracy party's (ND) sweeping victory in general elections on Sunday.

    Outgoing prime minister Costas Simitis called on Stephanopoulos earlier Monday and formally tendered his resignation, while parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis was also due to call on the President, before Karamanlis, and formally brief him on the composition of the new parliament that emerged from the elections.

    [03] Elections: Vote count nearly completed - ND secures165 seats in parliament

    08/03/2004 10:58:47

    With 97.02 percent of the vote from Sunday's general elections counted, up-to-now main opposition New Democracy party (ND) swept to victory with a 4.93 percent lead over the up-to-now ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), with 45.50 percent of the vote, securing a majority 165 seats in the 300-member unicameral parliament.

    PASOK, with 40.57 percent of the vote, secured 117 seats, while the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), with 5.82 percent, secured 12 seats and the Radical Left Coalition secured 3.22 percent and 6 seats in parliament.

    [04] New Democracy party wins elections; new gov't expected on Tuesday

    08/03/2004 02:44:18

    New Democracy (ND) party breezed to a comfortable victory over rival Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in Sunday's general elections in Greece with a 5.62 percent lead.

    ND polled 46.13 percent of the vote to PASOK's 40.51, with 78.73 percent of the ballots counted nationwide at presstime early Monday morning a result that makes 48-year-old Costas Karamanlis the next -- and youngest ever -- Greek prime minister.

    ND secures a significant majority of about 167 seats against 116 for PASOK.

    A new government is expected to be sworn-in on Tuesday.

    The Communist Party of Greece ranked a distant third garnering 5.61 percent and securing 11 seats, while the Coalition of the Radical Left received 3.09 percent, a fraction over the 3.00 percent margin needed to enter Parliament. It secures 6 seats in the House. The Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) mustered 2.06 percent and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) got 1.70.

    Karamanlis, the namesake and nephew of Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis, won the premiership on his second try after assuming the partys reins in 1997. He lost the April 2000 elections by a mere 70,000 votes. The ND leader will also be the first prime minister born after the divisive Greek civil war (1946-49).

    Conversely, newly elected PASOK leader George Papandreou, the former high-profile Greek foreign minister, failed to follow in the footsteps of his late father, three-time premier and PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou.

    In his first comments to a crowd of reporters and supporters at the Zappeion Hall, next to the Parliament in downtown Athens, the prime minister-elect promised to live up to the voters trust.

    ''I am in politics to contribute; now that the citizens decision has been expressed; I offer my commitment to ... meet their (citizens) trust, and to fulfil the agreement we have jointly signed,? Karamanlis said.

    In pointing to a standing Greek foreign policy concern, he also promised to work for a ?just, workable and European solution? for Cyprus, less than two months before the divided island republic becomes a full European Union member.

    The more-or-less regularly scheduled elections come only months before the Olympic Games return to the land where they were born during antiquity and to the city that hosted the first Games of the modern era (1896). Tens of thousands of ND supporters took to the streets of Athens and other major cities moments after the first exit polls showed a clear and sizeable lead for the centre-right party.

    Papandreous run for the premiership came almost two months after two-time Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced he would step down after the elections, in the process resigning as the ruling partys president eight years after he succeeded Andreas Papandreou. The younger Papandreou stood alone for PASOKs leadership in early February.

    [05] ND leads PASOK by 6.74 percent with 40% of the votes counted

    08/03/2004 00:33:11

    The New Democracy (ND) party, up until Sunday's general elections the main opposition party, is leading the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) by 6.74 percent.

    With 40.08 percent of the votes counted nationwide shortly after midnight Sunday, ND received 47.04 percent (169 seats) against 40.30 (120 seats) for the up and till now ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) garnered 5.34 percent (11 seats), the Coalition of the Radical Left 2.92, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 1.94 and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) 1.61.

    [06] PM-elect Karamanlis sets new government's priorities

    08/03/2004 00:23:18

    Costas Karamanlis on Sunday night emphasized education, culture and creating new jobs as among his upcoming governments priorities, as the New Democracy party returned to power on Sunday, after 11 years, in a comfortable victory over rival PASOK.

    Karamanlis is set to become Greeces youngest prime minister at the age of 48.

    In his first comments to a crowd of reporters and supporters at the Zappeion Hall, next to the Parliament in downtown Athens, the prime minister-elect promised to live up to the voters trust.

    ''I am in politics to contribute; now that the citizens decision has been expressed; I offer my commitment to ... meet their (citizens) trust, and to fulfill the agreement we have jointly signed,? he said.

    In pointing to a standing Greek foreign policy concern, Karamanlis also promised to work for a ?just, workable and European solution? for Cyprus, less than two months before the divided island republic becomes a full European Union member.

    Karamanlis, the namesake and nephew of NDs founder, Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis, also referred to a reformed agriculture policy, an all-important sector in the east Mediterranean country, noting the need for more competitiveness.

    His next statement referred to the much-anticipated Olympic Games of Athens -- the Opening Ceremony comes on August 13. Karamanlis cited the need to ?put the best face forward for the finest and safest Games ever.?

    ?There are no winners and losers today ... today democracy and Greece have won, which calls on us to give our best for a tomorrow filled with optimism, certainty and self-confidence,? he stressed in a brief statement replete with references to national unity.

    [07] ND leads PASOK by 6.57 percent with nearly one-third of the votes counted

    08/03/2004 00:10:08

    The New Democracy (ND) party, up until Sunday's general elections the main opposition party, is leading the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) by 6.57 percent.

    With 31.67 percent of the votes counted nationwide by midnight, ND received 47.00 percent (166 seats) against 40.43 (123 seats) for the up and till now ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) garnered 5.32 percent (11 seats), the Coalition of the Radical Left 2.89, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 1.90 and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) 1.60.

    [08] New ND government expected to be sworn-in on Tuesday

    08/03/2004 00:09:01

    The new government of New Democracy (ND) is expected to be sworn-in on Tuesday.

    According to the ND's Secretary for Political Planning, George Souflias, ''the sooner as the new government is announced and sworn-in the better,'' he said.

    Speaking to reporters on Sunday night, Souflias said that ''quite a few discussions have taken place for the composition of the new government, however, the final decision rests with the future prime minister.''

    Referring to the scenario of general elections being held again in 2005 in the event of inability to elect a new President of the Republic, Souflias said that ''if the margin is more than 3 percent, then PASOK will not dare call for elections. If PASOK gets less than 120 seats, the eventuality of an interim stage will not loom.''

    On the vote by the Greek people, he said that they responded to the slogan ''political change'' and assessed that the voters ''sent a message that they punish, while with the margin they gave us, they showed that they do not being petty.''

    On the following day of the elections, Souflias said that ''we will not implement a policy of austerity, but a policy of tidying up,'' stressing that ''what will characterise the policy of the government of New Democracy is prudence, dialogue and boldness.''

    Concluding, he said ''the Olympic Games will be the ND's top priority.''

    Meanwhile, ND leader Costas Karamanlis received congratulations on his victory in telephone calls by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopulos, the prime ministers of Spain, Jose-Maria Aznar, of Portugal, Jose Manuel Durao Barraso, of Albania, Fatos Nano, European People's Party (EPP) President Wilfried Martens, ''Athens 2004'' Olympic Organising Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas.


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