Although New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras criticized SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras during the election period, he never mentioned his name. He chose to do it tonight, during the last and central meeting before the elections on Sunday.
Syntagma Square was full of people shortly before 8 pm, when he was scheduled to begin his speech. Youths, middle-aged people with their children and pensioners with Greek flags in their hands were gathering around the podium, which was placed at the bottom of the square.
Music was echoing from the speakers, interrupted only by the voices of the two hosts, who presented parts of the party's economic programme, supported by ardent appeals against SYRIZA’s suggestions. At the same time, the two large screens were showing the promotional videos of New Democracy, in which the "blue" stressed the danger for Greece to end up outside the euro area.
Candidates for deputies and other senior members were gradually arriving. Some of the most prominent trade unionists, such as the president of the association of taxi owners in the Athens area Efttimios Limberopoulos stood somewhat aside, but still close to the podium.
While the words "after a while, the leader of New Democracy and tomorrow’s prime minister Antonis Samaras will join us" were echoing from the microphones, former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis together with his wife was off to his place in the first row beneath the podium.
"Where is he?", "Mr. President," "Costas" were just a few of the cheers heard in the audience. Costas Karamanlis did not refuse to let anyone shake hands with him, and the flow of people who wanted to approach and see him was great.
A little later, Dora Bakogiannis came, who chose to go through the participants in the meeting, watched by dozens of cameras and camcorders of Greek, European and world media. She greeted members of the youth organization of New Democracy and other participants and set off to the front row. There, she had a brief conversation with Costas Karamanlis.
Shortly before 9 pm, the hosts announced the arrival of Antonis Samaras. He stood on the podium, welcomed the ardent supporters of New Democracy and began a particularly offensive speech about SYRIZA. He accused Alexis Tsipras of taking the country to the past, giving false hopes and of being ready to drag it to a complete disaster outside the euro area, which he called the "anchor of stability in Europe." Then, he announced the main priorities of his party, which are political stability, jobs for all and security.
Antonis Samaras said that it was high time for Greece to introduce all those changes existing in other European countries, but never said what sacrifices were necessary to achieve them.
Interesting was the fact that he described as propaganda the recommendation article in the German edition of the Financial Times, in which the authors urge the Greeks to vote for a cabinet under his leadership. "We do not need such "support." They should not think we do not understand that these things are done precisely to boost SYRIZA," he said.
A few very interesting scenes followed the meeting. At least two hundred people rushed headlong after the former prime minister and his bodyguards and associates to accompany him to his car, which was waiting at the top of the square, outside parliament. They were waving the national flags and shouting the slogans, "All together with Karamanlis," "Mr. President, come back."
Karamanlis’ group tried to move out quickly, but this was impossible because of the dozens of people around them. They went around his car, applauded him, and then went to the other side of the avenue to see him again.
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