17 August, 2007
The government spokesman on Thursday night announced that the prime minister will request early elections on Sunday, Sept. 16 next month during a meeting on Friday with the president of the republic.
Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will convene an urgent Cabinet meeting at noon on Friday before the 1 p.m. meeting with President Karolos Papoulias.
"Before Greek citizens, in the crucial battle that will follow, we will present our work, with calmness and arguments, far from the extremism of the past, with self-criticism and above all sincerity," Roussopoulos said, adding that the voters will compare and judge between "changes and reforms, on the one hand, and adventures and backtracking from PASOK irresponsible policy, on the other."
Roussopoulos said Premier Karamanlis will make statements on Friday after his meeting with Papoulias.
In a response roughly two hours after Roussopoulos' announcement, PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou, a former education minister, said that "Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is obliged, under the weight of escalating deadlocks, to go to the polls, (polls) which reveal that 'the king is naked', since he is repeating the unfulfilled promises of 2004 as the reason for resorting to elections.
"The Greek people will give their mature and ready, for some time, reply to New Democracy on Sept. 16. The country will turn a page on Sept. 16 with a victory of proposals and positions, as entailed in PASOK's programme," he added.
In an immediate response, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stated, in a released press announcement, that "the real dilemma of the elections is not the consequence but the continuation of so-called reforms, as claimed by Theodoros Roussopoulos. The crucial matter is for (ruling) New Democracy (ND) party and (main opposition) PASOK to be punished, whose reforms serve capital at the expense of the people."
KKE added that "decisive support of KKE is the best answer to the anti-popular policy, and a weapon in the hands of the people … when ND or PASOK come to power."
A Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) cadre said the radical left coalition is prepared for the elections and will do well, according to all indications.
Top Synaspismos cadre Nikos Voutsis added that the declaration of elections on Sept. 16, on top of the debris of the Mt. Penteli wildfire, is a grave political slipup.
Lastly, he pointed out that such a decision, "with evident and partisan expediency to cover-up the bonds scandal," expresses a methodology that only modern-day "Neros of politics" are attempting to insert into the conscience of the people.
Source: Press Office of the Embassy of Greece