ATHENS – Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who was at the helm of the New Democracy party when it was taken down in January, 2015 elections by the upstart Radical Left SYRIZA of Alexis Tsipras, said wins by Conservative candidates for the European Parliament and Greek municipalities was a “victory for Greece.”
Samaras had called the elections four years ago after being unable to get support for his nomination of his party’s Vice-President Stavros Dimas as Greece’s symbolic President instead of picking a neutral candidate as was traditionally done.
That led to New Democracy’s beating after Samaras – as did Tsipras – came to power saying he would oppose austerity demanded by the country’s international creditors before bowing to them to get another bailout.
“This is a very big day. Tomorrow is a new day for all Greeks with new challenged that we shall also overcome. Congratulations to all the people who fought this great battle,” he said, also calling for snap polls that Tsipras quickly said he would call after hiding out with his Cabinet following the trouncing he said he didn’t expect as he was giving out handouts.
Center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata, whose party unexpectedly ran stronger than thought and finished third with 7.2 percent of the vote, said her party got a boost and she wanted snap polls too, before Tsipras called them.
“Movement for Change is being bolstered, is acquiring a fresh dynamic at the center of the political stage,” Fofi Gennimata told reporters, saying her party had helped bring down the vote for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, which finished fifth with 4.8 percent.
“Every Greek acknowledges that immediate elections are the only clear solution for the country,” Gennimata said, accusing Tsipras of bolstering right-wing parties in Greece.