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New political force to be launched on March 8

The Neo Komma (New Party) says it is committed to the 'productive reconstruction' of Greece, which it says must be built on justice and the equitable sharing of rights, resources and opportunities

The New Party's logo The New Party's logo It all began last year when a group of academics and figures involved in cultural field began exchanging their concerns over the future of the country. Now, after hammering out some basic principles and six reforms that they would like to see implemented immediately, they've announced the creation of a new party – aptly named just that, the Neo Komma or New Party – which will hold its founding congress on March 8.

"Greece has passed an enormous test. The challenge for us and the majority of citizens, who justly or unjustly have been subjected to so many sacrifices, to resist the Greece of the past and of connections, and to give a voice back to the people," one of those involved in the new party, film producer Yannis Koutsomitis, told a press conference on Wednesday.

The party says it wants to see a new relationship develop between between citizens and politicians, who it says have "proven themselves to be not up to the circumstances".

It's goal, Koutsomitis added, was to provide the country with a political project at a time when the "old party system no longer has any support in society, leaving a timebomb under the foundations of democracy".

"We are governed by an oligarchy. Clientelism took over and engulfed this county country. We don't rely on anyone," said another member of the party's organising committee, Pavlos Eleftheriadis, a lecturer in constitutional law at Oxford University.

"We have decided to combine our own energies with those who are opposed to the present corrupt system. We're inviting them to take part in the elections [for a new party leadership] on March 9. Our ultimate goal is to enter parliament."

Social justice

The party says it is committed to the "productive reconstruction" of Greece, which is says must be built on justice and the equitable sharing of rights, resources and opportunities.

It proposes the implementation of six immediate reforms, which it says will quickly improve the lives of many citizens, restore confidence in public life, give hope to families who are concerned for the future of their children and support the elderly.

These reforms are

1 A guaranteed minimum income for children of parents with no or low incomes to ensure that no child is threatened by poverty

2 Public financing of the health system, that ensures full access to all to basic services

3 A national technical training programme aimed at the unemployed

4 Regional model schools to be created in each region of the country, to cater for the most gifted pupils, as well as the improvement of teaching in other schools

5 International tenders for broadcasting frequencies to the temporary and unconstitutional licensing system that has fuelled perceptions that powerful business and political interests control the media

6 Public administration reform, through the creation of a civil service executive

Until the party is formally constituted in March, it will be run by a 14-member organising committee comprising

Yiannis Alexakis, public servant
Alexandros Eleftheriadis, lecturer in information technology at the University of Athens
Pavlos Eleftheriadis, lecturer in law at the University of Oxford
Stathis Kampouridis, public servant
Glykeria Karra, physicist, former investment banking executive
Yannis Kassimatis, investment banking executive
Yannis Koutsomitis, director and producer
Andreas Koutras, financial analyst
Alexandros Kotsis, lawyer
Nikos Laaris, musician
Maria Mexi, specialist in social policy
Theodoros Niklanovits, chemical engineer
Marina Sougioultzi, economist
Stelios Xanthopoulos, lecturer in financial mathematics, University of the Aegean

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