ND and PASOK unfold their campaign maps

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will round off his election campaign with a public rally in Athens on September 14 before Greece goes to the polls two days later, it was revealed yesterday as PASOK finalized its list of candidates to stand in next month’s poll. Karamanlis’s address in Athens will be one of five public addresses that he will deliver in the runup to the September 16 election as New Democracy seeks to drum up support and return to power with a sizable majority. The ruling conservatives have adopted the slogan «not one vote lost» as they seek to prevent some of the people who voted for ND in 2004 switching their affiliation to PASOK or other parties such as the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS). Karamanlis will also speak in Agrinion on September 1, Larissa one day after, in Iraklion on September 10 and Thessaloniki two days later. In a bid to avoid in-fighting among his candidates, Karamanlis also made it clear that if he wins the election he will be picking his new cabinet based on his personal choice rather than the popularity of MPs in next month’s poll. New Democracy is not expected to finalize its list of candidates until Thursday. PASOK’s national council approved its list yesterday and all that remains is for the party leadership to give its final approval. Socialist leader George Papandreou again raised the issue of the bond scandal yesterday. He called on Karamanlis to ensure that the four pension funds be reimbursed – before the election – for the 280 million euros they invested in a government bond. He accused the prime minister of «covering up the scandal» and his ministers of being implicated in the affair. Papandreou is expected to visit Agrinion, central Greece, tomorrow, followed by Karditsa on Thursday, Serres on Friday and Alexandroupolis on Saturday. He is also planning a public rally in Thessaloniki on September 10 to compensate for the fact that he will be unable to deliver his usual speech at the city’s international fair.