Conservative New Democracy on Tuesday announced its candidates for the European Parliament elections next month, a mix of hopefuls including moderates and several names from the non-political arena.
As expected, Greek soccer team captain Theodoros Zagorakis was confirmed as a candidate as was composer Stavros Xarchakos, publisher Giorgos Kyrtsos and Mega TV political reporter Maria Spyraki. The Euro list included the MPs Manolis Kefaloyiannis and Costis Mousouroulis and the current Euro MP for LAOS, Niki Tzaveli. Surprises included the candidacy of former television presenter and independent municipal councillor Giorgos Amyras as well as that of Giorgos Momferatos, a business adviser and the son of the publisher Nikos Momferatos, who was murdered by November 17.
Another unexpected development was the decision by Kyriakos Velopoulos, a former MP of the rightwing LAOS which was the third party in a coalition headed by technocrat Lucas Papademos in 2011, said he would not run in next month's elections on ND's ticket. On his Twitter account, Velopoulos said that "after a lot of thought and in light of the reactions" to the prospect of his candidacy on an ND ticket, he had decided not to stand.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who leads conservative ND and shook hands with each of the candidates at the central Athens hotel where the announcement was made, said in a speech that the ND-dominated administration had stabilized the country, adding that a "vote for New Democracy is a vote for stability." He also took the opportunity to accuse the political opposition of "trying to set the country back" and of not having a reason to exist without a memorandum to condemn.