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The Minister of National Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos is named as new Greek Euro Commissioner

27 July 2014 / 20:07:59  GRReporter
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The present Minister of National Defence and deputy chairman of the New Democracy party is the probable Greek commissioner in the new European Commission under the chairman Jean-Claude Juncker instead of the Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. PM Antonis Samaras informed Bakoyannis about his decision over the phone.
According to some information, following the rejection of left-centrist candidates Maria Damanaki and Dimitris Kourkoulas, Avramopoulos holds the best chances. The discussion is in its final stages and soon the PM will announce his decision.
The candidate Dora Bakoyannis, regardless of her experience, met serious opposition, fuelled by her own actions in presenting her candidacy and her actions as a future commissioner as well. Kostis Hatzidakis’ candidacy had some bitter nuances because of his actions as a Minister of Development.
Blue reactions
It is thought that the suggested left-centrist candidates, Maria Damanaki, the present EU Commissioner, Dimitris Kourkoulas, Deputy Foreign Minister, or Anna Diamandopoulou  could instigate  tempestuous reactions among the New Democracy members especially after the spread of a scenario according to which Samaras might suggest a centrist or leftist candidate for president in the coming months. Nonetheless, of all candidates and not solely the left-centrist ones, Maria Damanaki was considered the strongest one.
Damanaki was supported by Evangelos Venizelos and in addition has some other advantages: she is a woman, just as Juncker requested so that a balance is achieved in the EU Commission and, being an acting commissioner, she could get a better portfolio or at least one of more influences than the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Without fully ruling out all of the above candidacies, the latest information suggests that all these scenarios have already been abandoned.
Dimitris Avramopulous
Avramopulous seems to be the candidate that Venizelos accepted and has the advantage of not being under dispute while standing equal to Bakoyannis as a candidate. This is due to the fact that the Minister of National Defence and former Foreign Minister is deputy chairman of the party, maintains strong connections abroad, has international experience and expertise which provides him with the ability to handle a commission full of PMs and ministers.
Avramopulous says that he has neither discussed his candidacy with the PM, nor the future portfolio Greece might have.
What does Juncker’s visit mean?
Jean-Claude Juncker will arrive in Athens on 4th August, which is the deadline for Greece to name its candidate for a EU commissioner. Besides the names already mentioned, a few more are on the list such as  Niki Dzavela, Georgios Kouroumoutzakos etc.
Juncker, who chose the capital of Greece for the starting point of his European tour through the 28 member states, will meet PM Antonis Samaras who was always an open supporter of Juncker and convinced that his presence in the Commission will be favourable for Greece in view of the Greek programme and the opening of the Greek debts discussion.


Tags: EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos Minister of National Defence Dora Bakoyannis PM Antonis Samaras Jean-Claude Juncker
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