Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced Friday a September 16 date for early parliamentary elections, citing the need for a "new mandate" in order to carry out further reforms.
Karamanlis made the announcement on television after having first visited President Karolos Papoulias and requested that the election date be put forward by some six months.
The prime minister cited the need to establish a new parliament in order for Greece to start tackling a series of reforms in the economy and the bureaucracy which were urgently needed.
His government had introduced these far-reaching reforms and aimed to continue them in the years ahead, Karamanlis said.
"Not everything has been corrected. We need a new mandate for a better future," he said in his TV address.
As the four-week campaign period got underway, the president of the opposition Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movemen (Pasok), Giorgos Papandreou, voiced optimism about his party's chances of success.
"A new era is beginning for Greece," said Papandreou, who had made repeated calls over recent months for new elections. "We are certain of our victory."
Last Mod: 18 Ağustos 2007, 12:10