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New Democrats face Olympian task

Karamanlis: Greece?s new
prime minister
and his
government are convincing
the markets they have
a sound economic policy

Greece?s newly elected conservative government has managed to convince most market participants that it is serious about making good on its promises for faster economic growth. It will, however, have to work hard and deliver fast to avoid disappointing these high expectations in its race against time to prepare the country for the Olympic Games.

The New Democracy party defeated the socialist Pasok party in March with a surprisingly high margin of nearly five percentage points, clinching 45.5% of the popular vote. The party?s second victory since 1981 gave New Democracy a clear majority, making the election of a new president of the republic in 2005 more likely and eliminating the risk of repeat national elections.

?It is important that this government has a full-term perspective. Its mandate is strong, expectations are high and the first fingerprints are good,? says Alexandros Sarrigeorgiou, managing director of Allianz Group in Greece.

The new government led by prime minister Costas Karamanlis has been preoccupied with the Cyprus issue and has devoted a lot of time and resources to the challenge posed by the Olympic preparations.

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