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New Democracy names European Parliament hopefuls

Two former Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) party figures will run for Antonis Samaras' party

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Moderate figures within New Democracy fear the party's decision to include former Laos figures will alienate voters in the centre

A New Democracy election rally in 2012 (Photo: Reuters) A New Democracy election rally in 2012 (Photo: Reuters) An international footballer, the editor of a church magazine, a former police chief, journalists, sitting MPs and MEPs, and figures from the arts world are among the figures who will run for New Democracy in May's European Parliament elections.  

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras unveiled the names of his party's 42 election hopefuls at a meeting of the party's central political committee.

Among the names are those of Theodoris Zagorakis, who captained Greece to victory in the 2004 European football championships, and composer Stavros Xarchakos.

Sitting MPs Manolis Kefalogiannis and Eliza Vozemberg and MEPs Rodi Krasa and Niki Tzavela will also be running. Tzavela recently defected from the far-rightwing populist Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) party to New Democracy. Publisher Yiorgos Kyrtsos, who also ran for Laos in the 2012 elections, is also on the list.

Amid disquiet from New Democracy centre-right moderates over the leadership's plans to include rightwing candidates on its slate for next month's European polls, earlier on Tuesday rightwing televangelist and former Laos MP Kyriakos Velopoulos announced on Twitter that he would not allow his name to go forward. 

Former minister Marietta Giannakou, the current head of New Democracy's group in the European Parliament, was not be present at Tuesday's event. Last week, she announced that she would not allow her name to go forward, in protest at how the party leadership was selecting candidates.

Also running for New Democracy is Photini Tomai, head of the foreign ministry archives. Last year, she was found guilty in a plagiarism case involving a children's book and ordered to pay €20,000 in compensation.

The concern within the party at the inclusion of far-right figures was expressed on Monday in a tweet from Evangelos Antoraros, who served as government spokesman under Kostas Karamanlis from 2004 to 2009. "There are old rightwingers who do not understand that you cannot open up to the centre with worn-out materials that are not even fit for recycling," he said.

Two weeks ago, a close aide of Samaras, cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos, resigned after it emerged he had back-channel communications with neonazi Golden Dawn.

The full list of candidates

Yiorgos Amyras, journalist, Athens municipal councillor
Yiorgos Anestis, farmer, general secretary of the Panhellenic Confederation of Unions of Agricultural Co-operatives (Paseges)
Stefanadis Christodoulos, cardiology professor, Athens University
Demosthenes Davetas, poet, author, painter
Lefteris Dimeiriou, agronomist
Anastasios Dimoschakis, former police chief (2006-2008)
Christina Giannopapa Katrivanou
Christina Halilopoulou
Maria Hatzinasiou
Konstantinos Holevas, editor of the religious magazine Ekklisia
Ioanna Kalantzakou, lawyer
Dimitris Karageorgiou, general secretary of the Panhellenic Pharmacists Society (PFS)
Benjamin Karakostanoglou, professor of international relations, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Pantelis Karaleftheris, electrician
Elias Karanta
Manolis Kefalogiannis, MP for Iraklio, Crete
Vasilis Korkidis, chairman of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (Esee)
Yiorgos Kotsiras, lawyer
Rodi Kratsa, MEP
Yiorgos Kymparidis
Konstantinos Kiranakis, president EPP Youth
Yiorgos Kyrtzos, publisher/editor
Athanasios Lioutas
Manolis Mavromatis, journalist
Yiorgos Momferatos, financial advisor
Elena Mouzala, piano teacher
Konstantinos Mousouroulis, former shipping minister
Pinelopi Panagiotopoulou, teacher/philologist
Nikos Peppas, Paralympian fencer, member of Dionyso municipality
Rita Pirkou Moraitaki, investment advisor
Natasa Ragiou, journalist, former MP
Zoi Rapti, supreme court lawyer
Maria Spyraki, journalist
Nicholas Stergiou
Grigoris Tasios, chairman of the Halkidiki hoteliers association
Photini Tomai Konstantopoulou, head of foreign ministry archives
Niki Tzavela, MEP
Anastasios Vasiliadis, architect, engineer, Ahepa president
Eliza Vozemberg, lawyer MP
Stavros Xarchakos, composer
Theodoris Zagorakis, international footballer
Grigoris Zafiropoulos, former mayor of Halandri

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Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos)
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National Confederation of Greek Commerce (Esee)
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