"Elections, Parliamentary self-reliance and Memorandum renegotiation"
Direct elections and a clear mandate from society according to an empowered renegotiation of the Memorandum is the basic message that ND leader Antonis Samaras will be sending from the TIF.
Since Friday morning, Mr. Samaras has been in Thessaloniki and has begun his meetings with representatives of key "players" of Northern Greece. On Saturday he will be giving a speech at Vellidio and will conclude his trip with the established press conference on Sunday afternoon.
The “blue” team has already concentrated on preparing his speech, since it is believed that the attention of the public will shift towards it. That does not mean that they will neglect to prepare for the interview because as they state, they have provided for every likely and unlikely question that can be posed.
The political environment is favorable towards Mr. Samaras but expectations are also elevated. The ND president will emphasize the renegotiation of the Memorandum’s terms, but he will have to be quite convincing on how he would be successful where Mr. Venizelos has been unsuccessful and as to how the Europeans will be swayed. His colleagues are stating that the Europeans will not be able to overlook a clear popular verdict accompanied by the acceptance of the basic objectives of debt and deficit reduction. Therefore, the fact that ND must win the majority of Parliament seats will be underlined.
Mr. Samaras will deliver a cleaner and sharper message, requesting “elections here and now” while at the same time absolutely rejecting the discussions on consensus and a government coalition.
On contemporary issues, Mr. Samaras will state that he is against the recent real estate taxes and the VAT increase in restaurants, while he will also delve deeper into his own theories and proposals on the reduction of VAT. He will be set against layoffs in the public sector and will underline that his proposal for an employment reserve is different than the one being utilized by the government.
Of course, he will speak of the need to reduce the state budget plan but not cause a deeper recession. An important point is his view on what concerns privatizations. Mr. Samaras is saying “no” to selling out and has opposed the OPAP privatization. Apart from criticism, however, it is a question about whether to accept the procedures that the government will promote, or warn everyone to be careful. He will describe his proposal on the advantageous utilization of public property.
Overall, Mr. Samaras wants to appear with the confidence and responsibility of a future prime minister and convince the public that he has a plan for getting the country out of the crisis. The leadership team are investing a lot in the presence of Mr. Samaras during the TIF, especially after that of the Prime Minister, which was characterized as a “debacle”. It is anticipated that “Mr. Samaras’ superiority will be shown against Mr. Papandreou and the poll range difference in favour of the New Democracy party will be widened.
Beyond that, however, the most important thing for the ND party is the starting point for the formulation of a “positive dynamic” which will widen the difference after the New Democracy attempts to lure the “undecided” to their camp.
Finally, Mr. Samaras’ party wants to appear united and without any problems in Thessaloniki. Thus, former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis must show up and “show his party and his leader his support during the TIF”.
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