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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras new ND leader, pledges unity
  • [02] ND leadership candidate Panagiotis Psomiadis suffers from pneumonia
  • [03] Greek tanker seized by pirates off Somali coast
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Samaras new ND leader, pledges unity

    Antonis Samaras is the new leader of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, after winning an absolute majority from the first round of the election on Sunday, it was announced in the early hours of Monday.

    Samaras, who was culture minister in the preceding ND government, is New Democracy's seventh president, succeeding former prime minister Costas Karamanlis, who announced his resignation from the party helm after ND's crushing defeat in the October 4 general elections, that brought the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) to power.

    Samaras' victory was announced shortly after 4:00 a.m. by election supervisory committee chairman Dimitris Sioufas, as the tally of 72.68 percent of the election stations set up throughout the country, representing nearly 550,000 voters, showed 50.18 percent of the vote in favor of Samaras, against 38.76 percent for former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and 10.06 percent for the third candidate, Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis.

    Samaras' prevalence with an absolute majority was irreversible, while Sioufas said that his percentage was expected to increase when all the votes are tallied.

    A total of 1,039 voting stations were set up throughout the country, while 64 voting stations were set up in other European countries.

    Voting began at 7:00 a.m. Sunday and were due to close at 7:00 in the evening, but a glitch in the on-line system for several hours, due to a software problem, and an unexpectedly large turnout of voters obliged the supervisory committee to extend the closing time to 9:30 p.m.

    This is the first time that the ND president was elected by the party's grass roots, after voting was extended to all registered party members through an amendment of the New Democracy Charter.

    In early morning statements after his victory was clinched, Samaras said that it was an honor for him to take on the responsibility of leading the party in new struggles for the progress of the Greek people, and chiefly for the young generation's right to hope, and for the party's return to new victories.

    "The people have spoken. The party's rank-and-file, the voters, have spoken. Their mandate is resounding and undisputable," Samaras said.

    "A month and a half ago, in difficult times, I spoke to you of hope, and you received the message of hope and turned it into a big, unprecedented, peaceful and democratic revolution. I asked you to turn the streams into a river, and you created a veritable sea that swept away everything that was holding us back, that was taking us back and hurting us. The participation in the election process, despite all the problems that are natural in such an unprecedented overture to the grass roots, exceeded all expectations. A new era begins now for our democracy, and also for New Democracy. Today, we are all winners. There are no losers. We were not opponents all this time. I said this during the difficult hours of the campaign race, and a say it again today. There are no opponents from here on," he added.

    Samaras noted that he will speak with fellow candidate Bakoyannis on Monday, adding that he truly thanked her for her congratulatory phone call, and with Psomiadis, whom he wished a speedy recovery, as the third candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia late Sunday, as well as with Karamanlis "with whom we will be together in all the big battles ahead".

    The new ND leader pledged to safeguard the party's unity, noting that he did not care who they voted for and that everything said up to then has been forgotten. "We will be all together. Nothing separates us now, but we are united by the major challenges of the future," he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of newly elected leader of main opposition New Democracy Antonis Samaras

    [02] ND leadership candidate Panagiotis Psomiadis suffers from pneumonia

    Candidate for the leadership of the main opposition New Democracy party Panagiotis Psomiadis was admitted to the Interbalkan Medical Centre in Thessaloniki on Sunday night, suffering from respiratory problems.

    Doctors tested him for new flu, but the result was negative and they diagnosed pneumonia.

    [03] Greek tanker seized by pirates off Somali coast

    A Greek tanker was seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia on Sunday morning, the Greek Coast Guard said.

    A team of nine armed Somali pirates seized the Piraeus-registered "Maran Centaurus" and its 18 crew members comprising nine Greeks and 19 foreign seamen.

    The vessel's first mate informed the shipowners Christen Navigation of the incident, adding that the crew was well in health, and informing the owners that the pirates have directed the tanker to sail to a Somali port.

    The Maran Centaurus was headed from Kuwait to the US, loaded with mazut.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Antonis Samaras' victory in main opposition New Democracy elections for a new leader and finance minister George Papaconstantinou's upcoming crucial meetings with the Eurogroup and Ecofin, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "ND's grass roots showed the way .... Unprecedented turnout in ballots".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Samaras is the leader - ND's supporters swarmed to the ballots to elect Costas Karamanlis' successor".

    AVRIANI: "The people toppled the political families because they believe they are responsible for country's bankruptcy".

    CHORA: "Samaras' triumph - New Democracy changed plans with a new leader elected by the party's grass roots".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Antonis Samaras new president of New Democracy, Bakoyannis conceded her defeat".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Samaras elected from the first round as the 7th president of New Democracy".

    ESTIA: "Antonis Samaras president of ND - Mandate for a new start and unity".

    ETHNOS: "Samaras' total recall! ND's supporters condemned the 'mechanisms'.".

    IMERISSIA: "EU supports and demands - European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia's 'umbrella', joint monitoring with IMF".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Crucial commitments to Brussels".

    TA NEA: "Samaras' victory - More than 400,000 people voted".

    VRADYNI: "Antonis Samaras is the new leader".


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