ND pledges to ‘govern well’

Opposition New Democracy will «slash through Gordian knots and take on established business interests» should it win the forthcoming national elections, party leader Costas Karamanlis said in an interview with yesterday’s Kathimerini. Karamanlis, 47, also promised to increase Greece’s growth rate from its current 4.1 to 5.5 percent, compile a fiscal inventory so as to be able to «tell the people how things stand,» and bring order to the country’s «chaotic» finances. Conservative ND, which has only spent three of the past 22 years (1990-93) in government, lost the last elections by a slender margin. Ever since, it has kept well ahead of the ruling Socialists in opinion polls, with the latest survey giving ND an 8.2 percent lead. The elections are expected to take place by the beginning of May. In the interview, Karamanlis seemed confident of victory, listing the requirements members of his Cabinet will have to meet (moral standards, ability, a dynamic approach, knowledge and an appetite for work). «New Democracy is ready to govern well,» he said. «We will confront problems, slash through Gordian knots and take on established business interests. I do not have a phobic approach to hot issues.» Insisting that he had no vendetta against specific state contractors, Karamanlis vowed to fight corruption in the system for awarding public contracts. «We will review state contracts whose awarding, implementation and cost raise questions regarding their legality.» Seeking to reassure civil servants fearful of a purge in the event of a conservative victory, Karamanlis argued that the problems of civil administration in Greece «are not a question of numbers, but rather of quality.» «I believe what we need here is a quality revolution,» he said.