Samaras looks for finishing touches

Prime Minister George Papandreou is not the only political leader considering a reshuffle, as New Democracy president also appears set to change some faces in his shadow cabinet, according to sources. Samaras is considering what adjustments he needs to make to his frontline team so he can announce the changes in August, before the political debate really picks up again in September after the summer lull. The ND leader also has to appoint the party’s new director, rumored to be economist Thanasis Skordas, as part of an overhaul of the conservative apparatus. Sources said that Samaras believes that once the party structure has been resolved, he will be able to spend more time on the road. He will do so armed with a new party manifesto, which his aides are beginning work on. The changes also reflect a break with the previous administration of Costas Karamanlis, from which Samaras has tried to gradually distance himself. Samaras also has to decide over the next few weeks who the party’s candidates will be for the local elections. All these decisions are to be taken from new headquarters for the party as it is moving from its cramped surroundings on Rigillis Street in Kolonaki to an office block on the southern end of Syngrou Avenue. Apart from offering ND officials more space, the move to new premises will allow the party to house all its administrative branches in the same building. It will also offer the party the possibility of holding news conferences on site, which is not possible in its current headquarters. ND’s move, set to be completed in September, comes a few months after PASOK also moved to a more modern, spacious facility.

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