Shaken New Democracy Regrouping

ATHENS – Licking its wounds after a sound beating in the Jan. 25 elections, New Democracy’s Executive Committee is set to meet on Jan. 29 to talk about how it happened and what to do next.

Former Premier Antonis Samaras paid the price for imposing harsh austerity measures on the orders of international lenders, taking a thumping at the hands of the Radical Left SYRIZA and its leader, Alexis Tsipras.

Samaras will meet with outgoing Parliament Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis from his party but hasn’t met yet with any other party officials after snubbing Tsipras and refusing to appear for the traditional hand-off of power.

While no challengers have emerged to Samaras, no one in the party’s hierarchy has come to his defense in the wake of the stunning loss.

Former party leader and one-time Premier Costas Karamanlis, who vanished after his scandal-tainted government lost in the 2009 elections to the PASOK Socialists – who have also since essentially disappeared after supporting big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings – has been meeting with other party leaders.

Those include outgoing Defense Minister Nikos Dendias, Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzicostas and ex-Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis but there’s no reports Karamanlis wants to take over again after his embarrassing defeat to PASOK which came amid charges his government falsified economic figures.

Kathimerini said that Samaras believes the SYRIZA government will collapse and new elections will be held again in which he can make a comeback.