Bakoyannis aims to launch party

The worst-kept secret in Greek politics came out yesterday when former Foreign Minister and New Democracy leadership contender Dora Bakoyannis admitted that she intends to form a new political party. Speculation has been rife since Bakoyannis’s ousting from ND earlier this year that she would create her own political grouping. Earlier this week, she unveiled the formation of a new political discussion group, called Forum for Greece, and, speaking on Skai Radio yesterday, she stated clearly for the first time that she intends to set up a party as well. Bakoyannis declared that the old party system is «outdated» and said that she would be using her newly founded forum as a way of connecting with people. The ex-diplomat did not indicate when she intends to inaugurate the new party. «We have to work our way into society, having direct contact with people without the intervention of middlemen,» she said, stressing that she would be making use of the Internet to get her message across. Bakoyannis favors a centrist approach but did not give many details about her would-be party’s political outlook. She did, however, outline some of the issues on which she strongly disagrees with PASOK. «I do not believe in big government,» she said. «[Prime Minister] George Papandreou does, or at least he cannot escape from PASOK’s past. It is no coincidence that the state has become so vast; it was created to feed patron-client relationships.» Bakoyannis was expelled from ND after supporting the government’s austerity package when the conservative party’s leader, Antonis Samaras, had asked his MPs to vote against the measures. Bakoyannis accused Samaras of opposing the reforms for «petty political» reasons. «Politicians have to start being more honest with people,» she said.

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