Sunday March 1, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Coalition buffeted but still standing after local polls

Rena Dourou, SYRIZA’s candidate for Attica governor, waves to supporters outside her party’s campaign kiosk, in central Athens. Dourou made a surprise performance, grabbing first place in the first round of the regional vote yesterday.

The first round of Greece’s local elections produced a mixed result that allowed both the country’s governing parties, New Democracy and PASOK, as well as the main opposition, SYRIZA, to claim that they had performed well ahead of the second round on Sunday, when European Parliament elections will also be held.

SYRIZA produced surprises in the Municipality of Athens and the Region of Attica, where its candidates performed better than had been expected. Rena Dourou, the former SYRIZA MP, was projected to take first place in the contest for the Attica governorship, pushing the far more experienced Yiannis Sgouros, who was backed by PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR), into second place.

With around 20 percent of the votes counted, an Interior Ministry projection for the final result gave Dourou 23.2 percent and Sgouros 22. An early exit poll, when polling centers closed at 7 p.m., gave Dourou a much bigger lead, suggesting that it would turn into a memorable night for SYRIZA.

Nevertheless, Dourou’s expected win was a significant achievement. She still faces a challenge to overcome Sgouros in Sunday’s run-off vote.

“The best goals are scored in the second round,” said SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras as he left the party’s headquarters.

The leftists also toasted the achievement of Gavriil Sakellaridis, a virtual unknown outside the party before he became its candidate for the City of Athens. Interior Ministry projections showed that Sakellaridis would be narrowly pipped into second place by incumbent Giorgos Kaminis, supported by PASOK and DIMAR. Kaminis was expected to get 21 percent and Sakellaridis, who beat off competition from the more experienced Aris Spiliotopoulos of New Democracy, 20.2 percent. Kaminis and Sakellaridis will face each other on Sunday.

An acrimonious battle in Piraeus saw Yiannis Moralis, an Olympiakos soccer club official, leading incumbent Vassilis Michaloliakos, who is supported by New Democracy.

The failure of conservative candidates continued in northern Greece, where the party’s candidate for the Central Macedonia Region, Yiannis Ioannidis, trailed Apostolos Tzitzikostas, who is running as an independent, by some distance.

New Democracy’s candidate for Thessaloniki mayor, Stavros Kalafatis, also came in behind incumbent Yiannis Boutaris, who is supported by PASOK and DIMAR.

In Thessaloniki, residents were also asked to vote on whether they were in favor of plans to privatize the local water and sewage company, EYATH. The non-binding vote was organized by local officials and opponents of the sell-off. A last minute objection from the Interior Ministry meant that the ballot boxes had to be placed outside polling centers.

Initial results indicated that as many as 98 percent of those who took part in the vote opposed EYATH’s privatization. However, critics of the plebiscite pointed out that apart from being unofficial there were also questions about the vote’s reliability as the ballot boxes were transparent and ballot papers were not placed in envelopes.

Despite its failure to break through in the country’s major cities and regions, New Democracy will be encouraged by its stronger performances in other parts of Greece. While a number of conservatives made it into the second round of regional governorship races, SYRIZA only saw one more candidate apart from Dourou qualify for the run-off.

PASOK is also likely to take heart from the fact that a number of the high-profile candidates it backed, such as Kaminis and Boutaris, are in a strong position to win next weekend.

The coalition, as well as SYRIZA, will be concerned that neofascist Golden Dawn produced a strong showing in the Greek capital. Spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was expected to win more than 15 percent of the vote in the contest for the Athens mayorship, while MP Ilias Panagiotaros was on course to get over 10 percent in the Attica region.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday May 18, 2014 (23:56)  
Greece´s lenders skeptical on new bills but focus on funding needs
Lenders to be consulted over collective bargaining
Alleged accomplices of N17´s Xeros caught in Athens
Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov´t decision on plan permit
Schaeuble softens tone, says Greece ´needs time´
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Sunday Greece's new government needs «a bit of time» but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. "The new G...
Greece to prioritize IMF repayments but wants talks on ECB-held bonds, says Varoufakis
Greece will prioritize debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund, some of which come due in March, but repayments to the European Central Bank are «in a different league» and will n...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
A good second half was enough for Olympiakos to get the better of Unicaja Malaga (77-72) and score its seventh win in eight games at the second group stage of the Euroleague on Friday. Playi...
SOCCER
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
A unionist agenda
Maybe Greece will not experience a credit event, “because it is in no one’s interest,” as Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris recently assured. Maybe...
EDITORIAL
The beguiling limelight
Too much media exposure is never a good thing and there is no shortage of newcomers in politics who are beguiled by the limelight. What usually comes after this thrall of publicity is the in...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Schaeuble softens tone, says Greece ´needs time´
2. Greece to prioritize IMF repayments but wants talks on ECB-held bonds, says Varoufakis
3. Greece´s lenders skeptical on new bills but focus on funding needs
4. Lenders to be consulted over collective bargaining
5. Alleged accomplices of N17´s Xeros caught in Athens
6. Hellas Gold and workers react to Greek gov´t decision on plan permit
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece's lenders skeptical on new bills but focus on funding needs
2. Schaeuble softens tone, says Greece 'needs time'
3. Greece to prioritize IMF repayments but wants talks on ECB-held bonds, says Varoufakis
4. Lenders to be consulted over collective bargaining
5. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
6. Spain, Portugal sought to trip up gov’t, Tsipras says
Today
This Week
1. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
2. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
3. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
4. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
5. A fierce battle looms
6. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.