PM deals a blow to early polls

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday that New Democracy will hold its party conference this summer, thereby seeming to quash speculation about the ruling conservatives calling early elections. «It is very significant for the progress of the party and the continuation of the reforms strategy over the next few years,» Karamanlis told ND’s political council when referring to the conference, which is due to take place at the end of June or the beginning of July. «It will be a conference of debate, participation, continuation and results; a conference for a new era with a modern outlook,» added the premier. It will be ND’s first conference in three years and puts an end, for now, to rumors that Karamanlis was planning to call elections in the spring. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said he hoped the move would stop talk of the government entering a pre-election period. However, yesterday’s announcement will probably not completely douse speculation that elections may take place in the fall.

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