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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Voting begins in ND for new leader
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Voting begins in ND for new leader

    Voting opened for the election of a new leader of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Sunday morning, with three candidates vying for the leadership. The procedure was marred by a technical glitch in the on-line system, which was gradually being restored. Candidates Dora Bakoyannis and Antonis Samaras voted in polling stations in the greater Athens area, while Panagiotis Psomiadis postponed his vote for later in the afternoon.

    This is the first time that the ND leader will be elected directly by the party's grass roots, as voting for the ND leader has been extended to all of the party's registered voters.

    A total of 1,039 voting stations have been set up throughout the country, while 64 voting stations have been set up in other European countries, which will be linked on-line with the elections supervisory committee at the ND headquarters on Rigillis street, as will be all the polling stations.

    Voting began at 7:00 a.m. Sunday and will close at 7:00 in the evening, but Organising Committee chairman Dimitris Sioufas has clarified that the closing time may be extended in specific polling stations in the event that lines of voters were still waiting their turn to cast their ballot at closing time.

    First results will begin to be broadcast after the returns are in from 20 percent of the polling stations, although they will not be representative of the final outcome, according to Sioufas.

    The listing of members who voted at the various polling stations was being conducted by hand, after the on-line system collapsed in the morning, while the problem was being addressed by technicians from the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), the provider of the on-line service, according to ND representative George Koumoutsakos, who added that the turnout of voters was large.

    Outgoing leader and former prime minister Costas Karamanlis cast his vote at a polling station in his home town of Rafina, northeast of Athens. "I hope and believe that New Democracy, united and strong, under its new leader, will once again become a protagonist in the country's public affairs, as it befits it," Karamanlis said after casting his vote.

    Former foreign minister and one-time Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis voted at the indoor gymnasium at Mets, in central Athens. "We have said and heard a lot in these past two months. Today, the citizens have their say. Today, the heart and conscience of the New Democracy members speaks. I call on everyone to join in this great celebration of our party, which marks a new beginning of hope for New Democracy. We will leave behind everything that hurt us and proceed, together, to create the big centre-right party that we envision and can be useful to Greece," she said.

    Former culture minister Antonis Samaras voted in Pylos, Messinia prefecture. "Today, hundreds of thousands of party members are making the big reversal and acquiring hope. Tomorrow a new era begins both for New Democracy and for our country," he said afterwards. Samaras will return to Athens later in the afternoon.

    Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomadis went to a local polling station to vote on Sunday morning, but refused to do so after learning that the on-line system was down, and postponed voting to 5:00 in the afternoon. In a letter to Sioufas, Psomiadis said he rejected the process of voting with handwritten voter lists.

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and the leadership election in main opposition New Democracy (ND) were the main front-page items in Athens' Sunday newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The new New Democracy being born".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Concern on two fronts - ND seeks leader, and the".

    AVGHI: "Benefits in lieu of...pensions - The secret agenda".

    AVRIANI: "(Early) General elections in March if the economic collapse is not halted - With the new state of affairs, Dora (Bakoyannis) and Samaras (the two main candidates for the ND leadership) are not bound by Karamanlis agreement for (backing the re-election of President of the Republic) Papoulias".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Historic decision - Today, the ND grass roots speak".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Tax for the social security system - New revenues of 2 billion euros annually and additional taxation of big incomes and Large Property".

    ETHNOS: "Emergency plan for bigger reversals in salaries and pensions following the stifling pressure from Brussels (EU) and the international markets".

    KATHIMERINI: "European Commission seeks timetable with tangible measures from Greece - IMF (International Monetary Fund) team coming urgently to Greece".

    LOGOS: "Government setting up 'line of defense' - Governmental 'map exercise' to repel profiteerers and 'objectors'."

    NIKI: "Yes to the others - Everyone agrees on taking measures, provided they are not affected themselves".

    PARON: "The past clashing with the future - ND at a critical crossroads".

    PROTO THEMA: "EU recommends 'Ireland recipe' for Greece, demanding 7.5 percent reduction in salaries and pensions for all civil servants and DEKO (public utilities and state organisations) employees".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Action with PAME (KKE-affiliated trade union organisation) for the December 17 strike".

    TO VIMA: "The Black December for the Economy - The profiteerers attacks, the bankers' demands, the pressure, the reactions, and the fear of (early general) elections".

    VRADYNI: "How much tax the self-employed professionals will pay".

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