NEWS

Papandreou unveils plans for governing

PASOK leader George Papandreou set out his vision of how he and his party will govern should they win Sunday’s general election, suggesting that there would be fewer than 15 ministries and that foreign experts would be enlisted to help with devising new policies. In a live televised press conference, Papandreou attempted to prove to voters that PASOK is ready to govern if – as the most recent opinion polls available predicted – the center-left party is voted into power. Papandreou said that he would trim the number of ministries from the current 16 and keep the number of ministers and deputy ministers to under 40. This pledge came despite his commitment to creating a separate Economy Ministry, an Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry and Citizen’s Protection Ministry, which would be responsible for public order, civil protection and the fire service. Also, the Transport and Public Works ministries would be combined into a single Infrastructure Ministry. Papandreou said that he was in advanced talks with several international personalities, including Nobel Prize winners, who would advise a PASOK government on «reordering the economy» and on «the development model that the country needs.» Papandreou refused to name any of the experts being considered. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is trying to close out the campaign with as many public and televised appearances possible, believing that this will boost New Democracy’s chances at the polls on Sunday. Before addressing a public rally in Thessaloniki last night, Karamanlis spoke in Lavrio, southeast of Athens. Today he is due to appear on the islands of Corfu and Syros but will also find time to give an interview that will be broadcast over the Internet. In the evening, he will appear on Antenna TV. Tomorrow, which is the last day of campaigning, he will give an interview to Star TV before delivering his final campaign speech at the Pedio tou Areos Park in Athens. Meanwhile, ND played down yesterday comments by party secretary Lefteris Zagoritis which appeared to encourage supporters to show their dissatisfaction with particular conservative politicians by not voting for them but still backing the party on Sunday.