ATHENS – Former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, whose administration lied about Greece’s economy, is favored to replace former Premier Antonis Samaras as New Democracy party leader.
Samaras’ coalition fell apart and lost the Jan. 25 snap elections after imposing harsh austerity measures on the demand of international lenders and is under growing pressure to step down as he faces challenges.
Karamanlis would bring a reminder however of his pounding defeat he took in 2009 at the hands of the PASOK Socialists and as his administration was ridden with scandal.
After his defeat he dropped off the radar screen and remained a sitting Member of Parliament in the back rows and never accounted for the lies about the economy that helped lead Greece into a crushing economic crisis.
Despite all that baggage, the Conservative party prefers his familiar face over former Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni, who had been favored to take over the party before Samaras defeated her.
Karamanlis, in a poll by MRB for Real News, got 20.2 percent support while Bakoyianni got 17.5 percent, former Athens Mayor and current European Comissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos at 5.5 percent, former minister Nikos Dendias at 5.3 percent and former minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – Bakoyianni’s brother – last at 5.1 percent and the youngest in the field.
is the most popular candidate to succeed Antonis Samaras should he step down as leader of the conservative party, a new poll has found.