ATHENS – Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos reportedly will be Greece’s appointment to its European Commission post over New Democracy veteran stalwart Dora Bakoyianni.
The Athens News Agency said Avramopoulos, a former Athens mayor – as is Bakoyianni – got the nod from Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader to replace Maria Damanaki, a member of the PASOK Socialists who are partners in the coalition government. She head the Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
European Union governments are expected to nominate candidates by the end of July to serve in the bloc’s executive arm. A decision by Greece’s coalition had to be made ahead of a visit on August 4 by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker to Athens – the first stop on his tour of the bloc’s 28 capitals.
Juncker is expected to meet with Samaras, who is said to expect support from the former Luxembourg premier – a former Eurozone chief – as Greece tries to get debt relief from its international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank in talks due to start in the fall.
Other candidates considered for the position were Costis Hatzidakis from New Democracy, and Anna Diamantopoulou, Dimitris Kourkoulas, or again Damanaki, all from PASOK.