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Bulgaria involved in the pre election fight for Athens

06 November 2010 / 13:11:06  GRReporter
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Day before the mayoral elections in Greece a scandal aroused about 72 Bulgarian names illegally entered in the lists of voters in the capital. "The revelation was made by the newspaper "Pondiki" and it imposed a mandatory examination of the prosecution and the State Inspectorate and unfortunately in 2010, were determined illegal entries of future voters of Bulgarian origin in the Athens area," said on the evening news program of the television channel Mega the Interior Minister Yannis Rangousis. He announced that a violation had been found and an investigation is currently underway regarding exactly what lapses in the procedures of the Municipality of Athens, were made. The question, however, remains: "Why on the last day before the local elections it becomes clear that there are dead people on the electoral register and why of Bulgarian origin particularly?"

GRReporter contacted the press office of the Ministry for details. From our conversation with an employee of the office of public relations it became clear that no matter what illegal entries were found, the root of the problem is in the municipality of Athens, where foreigners had to register by the end of August 2010.

The decryption of the ministerial statement suggests that the suspicious entries in the electoral register lists were made by the administration of the municipality of Athens. The current mayor of the capital city is a representative of the right New Democracy Nikita Kaklamanis. We called in the municipal office as well, but we found no response. In the news broadcasts of the television channel Mega, however Nikita Kaklamanis said that it was an "electoral coup". In connection with the 72 Bulgarian names Kaklamanis refused to take any responsibility for the erroneous entry and pass the ball to the headquarters of his political opponents from PASOK.

Nikita Kaklamanis defended himself with the argument that there is a testimony of one of the 72 Bulgarians, who said they had been asked to register in support of their compatriot. "In my headquarter there is not one candidate from Bulgaria, neither is there in the headquarter of Nikos Sofianos (candidate mayor of the Greek Communist Party-KKE-BA.), there are however in the team of Georgeous Kaminis (representative of the Greek socialist party PASOK- author's note)." Thus, the candidate of the New Democracy shifted the responsibility to his opponent who has in his team a candidate for municipal councilor of Bulgarian origin.

In search of the truth GRReporter contacted the electoral headquarters of Georgeous Kaminis. Some information on the issue was given by the press center of the socialist candidate: "If you want the whole truth, you should know that the problem does not only concern the 72 Bulgarian names on the voter lists, but a total of 276 foreigners of various origins, who have been incorrectly entered. Representatives of Georgeous Kaminis said that by law they have no authority in the registering of people of foreign nationalities in Greece. Registrations are made only in the municipalities and the capital city is governed by the present mayor Nikita Kaklamanis, who also is a candidate for a second term. "A close associate of the City Hall council of Nikita Kaklamanis has close relations with Bulgaria, so the whole story is the responsibility of the office of Kaklamanis, " said representatives of the office of Kaminis. According to the representatives of PASOK the issue of dead people has occurred in the summer. The blue candidate has hurried to shift the responsibility in the TV show in order not to be revealed that responsible for the illegal entries are people from his administration.

A spokesman of the socialist headquarters described the behavior of the right candidate Nikita Kaklamanis in the evening show of MegaTV as racist, and said his words to be undermining the authority of the Bulgarian community in Greece. He stressed that this affects all 276 people and the 72 Bulgarian names have been used to unfairly blacken the candidacy of Georgeous Kaminis and his team.

Bulgarian candidate for councilor in the lists of the socialist Georgeous Kaminis is Nelly Karagiozova. She heard about the scandal around the 72 Bulgarian names for the first time from GRReporter and therefore said that she could not comment on it. Nevertheless Nelly Karagiozova agreed to tell us about herself and the decision she has taken to get involved in election campaign for local elections.

How long have you been in Greece and what made you run for city councilor?

I have been in Greece 16 years now and in the past 10 years, I was publishing a Bulgarian newspaper "Athens News" so I got closely familiar with the issue of immigrants in the country. I was called by the team Kaminis and received a proposal to enter the lists. So far I have not been bound to any party or to politics as a whole. The fact that I was contacted bhy Mr. Kaminis himself, whose development and operation I have been following in recent years and whom I admire greatly, made me get involved in the local elections.

Why Kaminis?

As Ombudsman Georgeous Kaminis proved to be good both as a professional and as a person. I think he is a very decent person. It is an open, accessible and determined. These are qualities that, unfortunately, do not occur very often in today's politics. Most of the current politicians seek to enter into politics to benefit themselves rather than helping to solve community problems.

Which of the ideas included in the program of Kaminis attracted you?

Tags: Politics Society Nelly Karagiozova municipal elections mayor of Athens Georgeous Kaminis
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