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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Run-off local gov't elections open in 7 Prefectures, 247 Municipalities
  • [02] FM: Early elections would be political ppportunism

  • [01] Run-off local gov't elections open in 7 Prefectures, 247 Municipalities

    Run-off local government elections opened at daylight on Sunday in seven prefectures and 247 municipalities throughout the country between the two candidates that amassed the largest percentage of votes in last Sunday's first round of elections.

    A total of 47 prefects were elected in the first round of prefectural elections, of which 28 were backed by the ruling New Democracy party (ND), 17 were backed by main opposition PASOK party, and two were elected with the joint backing of PASOK and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN).

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis said Sunday, after casting his vote in Thessaloniki, that all the elected prefects, mayors and community presidents were the government's allies and collaborators in its constant effort for balanced development in the entire country, while PASOK leader George Papandreou said after casting his vote in the Nea Erythrea suburb of Athens that his party will stand at the side of the local government officials who believed in decentralisation and would be at the side of the citizens.

    In the municipal elections, interest is focused on the cities of Thessaloniki and Patras. In Thessaloniki, the run-off is between current mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, backed by ND, who is considered the 'favorite' after amassing 41.43 percent in the first round, and PASOK-backed candidate Chryssa Arapoglou, who amassed 21.6 percent. In Patras, the runo-ff is between PASOK former deputy minister Andreas Fouras, who received 34.70 percent in the first round, and ND-backed former mayor Evangelos Floratos, who received 34.06 percent last Sunday.

    Run-offs were being conducted in the prefectures of Arcadia, Karditsa, Kefallinia, Lefkada, Magnesia, Serres, and Chania (Crete), and in 247 municipalities, in a total of 9,740 polling stations, including 1,450 in Athens, 707 in Piraeus and 929 in Thessaloniki.

    The polling stations will close at 7:00 p.m., while interior, public administration and decentralisation minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that results would be in earlier at night than in last Sunday's first round of elections.

    [02] FM: Early elections would be political ppportunism

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis warned that holding early general elections would be tantamount to political opportunism, something which the people would not forgive, in an interview with the Athens daily To Vima appearing in the newspaper's Sunday edition.

    Replying to questions on whether the government should call early general elections following the good showing by the ruling New Democracy party (ND) backed candidates in last Sunday's first round of prefectural and municipal elections, Bakoyannis said that such a move would be "political opportunism, which the people do not forgive".

    "It would be opportunistic on our part, and we would lose everything we have gained in credibility if we adopted the stance of a political opportunist who knows that this is a good moment and, without reason, puts the country into an electoral process," Bakoyannis, a former Athens mayor, adding "what would our answer be to the citizen who justifiably asks why are we calling elections?".

    With respect to the local government elections, she said the results formulated a different picture that allows the government to express satisfaction.

    To another question, Bakoyannis did not hide her concern over the risk of an escalation in the mobilisations in the education sector, assuring, however, that everything possible would be done to avert such a prospect.

    Replying to other questions, the foreign minister rejected rumours of a rift in Athens-Nicosia relations, which she stressed were very good and close.

    "And, to be totally, frank, they cannot be otherwise. We have common goals, and it is impossible for Athens and Nicosia to take different paths," she said adding: "Now, beyond that, I have also stated repeatedly that there are different tactical approaches by the governments, without, however, this in any way leading to conclusions that some quarters which to make, that there is a lack of cooperation, or lack of contact, or I don't know what else."

    "Publicity sometimes can be an advantage in foreign policy, but in other instances it makes things difficult. The Greek foreign ministry has opted for a low-key policy".

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