A new leader, but the issues stay the same

“Unlike Costas Karamanlis, who has experience of the public’s major problems, as head of the New Democracy party, George Papandreou does not have in-depth knowledge of the problems that affect Greek citizens. He doesn’t have the necessary experience,» said New Democracy’s (ND) chief of strategy, Giorgos Souflias, in an interview with Kathimerini. Commenting on recent rapid developments, he believes that PASOK remains unchanged and wonders «with what credibility Papandreou can say he’s going to implement a new policy. How free is he and when will he find the time to present a new platform?» However, Souflias approves of the fact that Papandreou «does not campaign under the banner of splitting the Greek people, and that is a positive step, in comparison with his predecessor.» As for the accusation that PASOK has caught ND napping, Souflias recalls that in January 2003, in a written report to the party leadership, he pointed out the likelihood of PASOK going to the elections under the leadership of Papandreou, noting that this would happen as soon as it was confirmed that Simitis would lose the elections. As for PASOK’s public relations broadside, he makes it clear that «by contrast, we present our proposals for solving problems. The role of ND is to bring back the discussion to issues of substance, to impose a genuine electoral agenda, and to remind the public that the decision on March 7 involves more than programs on television; it involves whether their lives and the lives of their children will change.»

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