Greek Liberals in local elections – Challenges and opportunities

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In view of the next local elections in Greece which will be held in one year’s time in conjunction with the European Elections, several liberal politicians have already started preparing for the electoral campaign. On Saturday, 30 June 2018, a young group of FNF affiliated local politicians and candidates organized a workshop discussing fundamental issues of political campaigning and strategy. FNF Greece responded cheerfully to the invitation to support the initiative which is the first in a series of political educational seminars to come in the next months.

The focal point of the workshop was to develop progressive methods of consolidating liberal arguments in a successful campaign, applied either in cities or smaller municipalities. Various forms of political actions were analysed as the workshop was based on the guide book “Politische Strategie” by Peter Schroeder, which is available in Greek and which was distributed to the participants of the seminar.

Following the workshop, a public event themed “The Greek Liberals in the 2019 Local Elections: Challenges & Opportunities” was organized. The discussion aimed to familiarize a large Athenian audience with a liberal set of ideas for local administration and raise awareness for certain challenges and opportunities of liberal candidatures.

The keynote speech was delivered by Apostolos Siokas, Vice-Mayor of the City of Moschato-Tavros and alumnus of FNF’s Liberal Youth Seminars. Apostolos argued that an increasing group of citizens look for liberal alternatives, thus it would be a good time for liberal candidates to intensify their efforts of openly promoting liberal solutions.

During the discussion George Krikris, Vice-Mayor of the City of Nea Smyrni and FNF alumnus, focused on liberal best practices and successful cases from his own network. Presenting the implementation of methods from the circular economy in his municipal corporation, he stated that most of the times results speak for themselves and voters understand it well.

 

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Korina Damoulianou, Vice-Mayor of the City of Kallithea, emphasized that there are certain core services in local administration which, when managed in a liberal way, safeguard transparency and efficiency. Successful candidates will be those who manage to effectively advertise this constructive and transparent approach.

Last, Dionysis Kampiotis, a candidate Mayor for the City of Oropos, said that many people –especially the poor – are cautious of market economy, which would render them reluctant to vote liberal. In his view this happens only until positive outcomes become apparent. Quoting efforts of his past periods in office, he supported the cooperation between municipal authorities and private companies to boost vital sectors such as tourism, which is necessary for the development not merely on a local but also on a regional level.

More than a hundred visitors joined the panel discussion. The event took place at the Cultural Center of Moschato-Tavros, and was moderated by Dr. Athanasios Grammenos from FNF-Greece.