The Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Constantine Karamanlis, is to hold a General Election in November-one?
The Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Constantine Karamanlis, is to hold a General Election in November-one year early. There had been speculation for some time that he was planning to call a snap election. Yesterday (19 September), he outlined his plans to opposition leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. George Mavros, the leader of the main Greek opposition party was asked to call at the Prime Minister's home in Athens because Mr. Karamanlis was slightly unwell. Mr. Mavros's party, the Union of the Democratic Centre, has 57 seats in the 300 seat parliament, compared with the government's 215 seats.
Mr. Karamanlis said that the Cyprus issue, Greece's dispute with Turkey and negotiations with the European Community would all enter a crucial phase next year, and should be dealt with by a government with a fresh mandate from the people. Mr. Mavros said the government has no right to call sudden elections. Later, another opposition leader, Mr. Andreas Papandreou, called to see the prime minister.
Meanwhile at the Greek Communist Youth Festival, the day before the elections had been formally announced, the Communist First Secretary, Mr. Harilaos Florakis roundly criticised the government, and called for a general election. The Communists, at least, will get what they want. But local observers say the government are expected to win the election, though their majority may be reduced.