NEWS

Samaras gears up for local polls

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras claimed yesterday that the government is saving harsher austerity measures than the ones it has already passed for after the November 7 elections and urged voters to support his party as a way of making it clear to PASOK that its policies are not acceptable. Samaras has staked much on next month’s elections dealing a heavy blow to the government. He has called on people to make it a referendum on whether they agree with the government’s decision to adopt the memorandum with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. «We are on the rise because people feel betrayed and tricked, as PASOK made grave errors,» he said before challenging Prime Minister George Papandreou to clarify whether an extension of the period Greece has to repay the 110 billion euros in loans it is receiving from the EU and IMF will also mean that Athens will have to adopt more austerity measures. «They are saving the worst for after the elections. Let’s make them change their mind,» Samaras told party members. Samaras’s focus on the memorandum is also designed to marginalize ND outcast Dora Bakoyannis, who voted in favor of the agreement earlier this year. Bakoyannis revealed to Sunday’s Kathimerini that she will launch a new party on November 21. She said her aim is not to create a protest party but one that will be able to be a partner in a coalition government. «The Papandreou government will be the last single-party government in Greece for many years,» the ex-foreign minister said. Bakoyannis’s party is expected to take a centrist, business-friendly stance. «It will be a movement that will incorporate political and ideological beliefs that I feel nobody is representing today,» she said.