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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
Greece heads for snap elections
Costas Karamanlis
The Greek prime minister had until March to hold elections
Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is set to call a snap parliamentary election on 16 September.

He will formally make the request in a meeting with the president on Friday.

Opinion polls suggest that his governing conservative New Democracy party is only slightly ahead of the opposition Socialists.

A series of scandals and an unpopular reform programme are among the issues which have dented the government's popularity since its win in 2004.

In that poll, New Democracy won 165 of the 300 seats in the Greek parliament, ending 11 years of uninterrupted government by the Socialist Party (Pasok).

Government spokesman Theodore Rousopoulos told reporters that the government wanted a fresh mandate for its reforms.

"The government, fully responsibly, asks the Greek people to decide on the future of the country, renewing their trust and giving a second strong mandate for another four years," he said.

"Since March 7, 2004, the country has made steady steps in all sectors," he said.

"The reforms have started and many of them are already bearing fruit. Much remains to be done."




SEE ALSO
Profile: Costas Karamanlis
08 Mar 04 |  Europe

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