NEWS

ND to change campaign style

Conservative leader, candidates to mingle with voters, seek to discredit SYRIZA

Conservative New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and his party?s candidates are reportedly planning to stage a radically different election campaign to the one conducted ahead of the May 6 polls, mingling with voters in a bid to bolster support and discredit the ascendant leftist SYRIZA, which has rejected the country?s debt deal with international creditors.

Kathimerini understands that Samaras plans to make good on a pledge made over the weekend to go ?from door to door, from cafe to cafe? in order to convince voters that only ND can forge a coalition securing Greece?s position in the eurozone and that SYRIZA is jeopardizing the country?s future.

In the countdown to the June 17 elections, ND officials are to set up election kiosks across the country -- a measure avoided before the May 6 polls for fear of being targeted by angry citizens -- while Samaras is to focus on holding discussions with business and social groups rather than traditional election rallies.

In talks on Tuesday with ambassadors representing several eurozone member states, Samaras declared, ?We must remain in contact with a Europe that is changing,? adding that he was ?optimistic despite the difficulties.?

ND has edged ahead of SYRIZA in recent opinion polls, a boost attributed by some to support by Democratic Alliance. Fourteen of the liberal party?s former members are on ND?s candidate list, which also includes three ex-members of the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), five from Independent Greeks, and one from the liberal Drasi.

SYRIZA?s leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday visited the Defense Ministry headquarters, where he condemned previous governments for spending excessively on arms. His party is to set out its policy platform on Friday.

Meanwhile beleaguered socialist PASOK said it had reached an agreement with labor unions and business groups on six aspects of Greece?s debt deal with creditors that it would seek to renegotiate. The chairman of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, did not attend but sent proposals in writing.

In a related development, the spokesman for Greece?s caretaker government, Dimitris Tsiodras, said the country would do ?everything necessary? to ensure the state remains solvent. Tsiodras dodged questions relating to a letter by former Premier Lucas Papademos, according to which the state coffers will run dry on June 20.

Online