NEWS

Samaras attempts to ensure ND unity

New Democracy’s new leader, Antonis Samaras, attempted yesterday to ensure that his resounding victory on Sunday did not have a negative impact on the party’s unity by meeting with his defeated rival Dora Bakoyannis. The pair held talks lasting about 40 minutes at ND’s headquarters in what was more a show of unity than a discussion aimed at reaching any specific conclusion. «We have had an initial, political discussion about New Democracy’s political positions and our common goal, which is a modern, large center-right party, for which we will all work together,» said Bakoyannis upon leaving the meeting. The former foreign minister said that the pair had not discussed any possible position for Bakoyannis within Samaras’s setup. «No proposal was made,» said Bakoyannis. «I have been a foot soldier for this party for many years and I will continue to be one.» She assured reporters the pair would continue to discuss matters in the future. «We are in the same party, after all,» said Bakoyannis. Samaras is in the process of speaking to all the party’s high-profile officials. Yesterday, he made a point of contacting Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, former Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and ex-Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, who had all supported Bakoyannis. He also spoke with Dimitris Avramopoulos, who dropped out of the leadership race to back Samaras’s bid for the party presidency. Samaras is expected to spend the next few days deciding who will fill crucial positions in the party, such as ND secretary, before holding his first official meeting as leader of the opposition with Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday.