LAOS accuses ND's Samaras of stealing its positions

The leader of Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) on Thursday accused New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras of stealing all of the nationalist party’s positions as the conservative politician set out his social policies and plans for political reform.

Samaras returned to the Zappeio Hall in Athens to unveil his agenda, which placed great emphasis on law, order, institutions, education and religion. Adopting a similar line to the one followed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his country’s elections, Samaras took up a tough position on immigration, saying he would repeal a law granting citizenship to second generation migrants.

Samaras pledged to clamp down on self-styled anarchists by allowing police to use CCTV cameras and adopting stricter security policies at universities. He also promised to increase policemen’s pay. The ND leader said there would be pay increases for some members of the armed forces if he becomes prime minister next month. Samaras added that he would not cut the salaries of priests, who are paid from the public coffers.

The conservative chief unveiled plans for changes to the political system, including reducing the number of MPs and conducting stricter checks on their finances.

However, it was his emphasis on law and order, as well as on the role of education in preserving Greek heritage, that drew barbs from Karatzaferis. The LAOS leader sent Samaras a sarcastic congratulatory telegram that said: “The announcement of our policy program at Zappeio had the appropriate emphasis but next time try doing it by heart.”

Karatzaferis challenged Samaras to take up the issue in a televised debate but representatives of the main parties were unable yesterday to agree on a format for the discussion and it is unlikely that one will take place. 

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