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New Democracy (Greece)

New Democracy
Νέα Δημοκρατία
Abbreviation ND (ΝΔ)
President Vangelis Meimarakis (pro tempore)
Vice Presidents Dimitris Avramopoulos
Stavros Dimas
Secretary Andreas Papamimikos
Spokesperson Kostas Karagounis
Founder Konstantinos Karamanlis
Founded 4 October 1974 (1974-10-04)
Preceded by National Radical Union
Headquarters 340 Syggrou Ave.,
176 73 Kallithea, Athens
Youth wing Youth Organisation of New Democracy
Ideology Liberal conservatism[1]
Christian democracy[2]
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International,
International Democrat Union
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours      Blue
75 / 300
European Parliament
5 / 21
Regional Governors
7 / 13
Politics of Greece
Political parties

The New Democracy (Greek: Νέα Δημοκρατία, IPA: ), also referred to as ND by its initials, is a liberal conservative[1] political party in Greece. In modern Greek politics, New Democracy has been the main centre-right political party and one of the two major parties along with its historic rival, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Having spent two and a half years in government under the presidency of Antonis Samaras, New Democracy lost the majority in the Hellenic Parliament and became the major opposition party after the January 2015 legislative election.

The party was founded in 1974 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and in the same year it formed the first cabinet of the Third Hellenic Republic. New Democracy is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and its MEPs belong to the EPP Group in the European Parliament.


  • History 1
    • Foundation 1.1
    • In government (1974–1981) 1.2
    • Opposition and Mitsotakis' rise to power 1.3
    • Since 1993 1.4
    • Support 1.5
    • 2007 re-election 1.6
    • 2009 defeat 1.7
    • Government debt crisis 1.8
    • 2015 election 1.9
  • International affiliation 2
  • Election results 3
    • Hellenic Parliament 3.1
    • European Parliament 3.2
  • Leadership 4
    • Leaders 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6



Konstantinos Karamanlis, founder of New Democracy.

New Democracy was founded on 4 October 1974 by Konstantinos Karamanlis, in the beginning of the metapolitefsi era following the fall of the Greek military junta. Karamanlis, who had already served as Prime Minister of Greece from 1955 to 1963, was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Third Hellenic Republic in a national unity government on 24 July 1974, until the first free elections of the new era. He intended New Democracy to be a more modern and progressive right-wing political party than those that ruled Greece before the 1967 Greek coup d'état, including his own National Radical Union (ERE). The party's ideology was defined as "radical liberalism", a term defined as "the prevalence of free market rules with the decisive intervention of the state in favour of social justice."

In government (1974–1981)

In the 1974 legislative election, New Democracy obtained a massive parliamentary majority of 220 seats with a record 54.37% of the vote, a result attributed to the personal appeal of Karamanlis to the electorate. Karamanlis was elected as Prime Minister and soon decided to hold a referendum on 8 December 1974 for the issue of the form of government; with a large majority of 69.17%, monarchy was eventually abolished in favour of a republic. The next major issue for the New Democracy cabinet was the creation of the Constitution of Greece, which entered into force in 1975 and established Greece as a parliamentary republic. On 12 June 1975, Greece applied to join the European Communities, of which it was already an associate member since 1961, while it had already been readmitted to the Council of Europe on 28 November 1974.

In the

  • Official website (Greek)
  • European People's Party official website
  • ND list of

External links

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B 2004 results are compared to the combined totals for ND and POLAN totals in the 1999 election.

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
1981 1,779,462 31.3% New
8 / 24
Increase8 #2 Georgios Rallis
1984 2,266,568 38.1% Increase6.8
9 / 24
Increase1 #2 Evangelos Averoff
1989 2,647,215 40.5% Increase2.4
10 / 24
Increase1 #1 Constantine Mitsotakis
1994 2,133,372 32.7% Decrease7.8
9 / 25
Decrease1 #2 Miltiadis Evert
1999 2,314,371 36.0% Increase3.3
9 / 25
±0 #1 Kostas Karamanlis
2004A 2,633,961 43.0% Increase4.7
11 / 24
Increase2 #1 Kostas Karamanlis
2009 1,655,636 32.3% Decrease10.7
8 / 22
Decrease3 #2 Kostas Karamanlis
2014 1,298,713 22.7% Decrease9.6
5 / 21
Decrease3 #2 Antonis Samaras

European Parliament

A 06/2012 results are compared to the combined totals for ND and DISY totals in the 05/2012 election.

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
1974 2,669,133 54.4% New
220 / 300
Increase220 #1 Majority gov't Konstantinos Karamanlis
1977 2,146,365 41.8% Decrease12.6
171 / 300
Decrease49 #1 Majority gov't Konstantinos Karamanlis
1981 2,034,496 35.9% Decrease5.9
115 / 300
Decrease56 #2 Opposition Georgios Rallis
1985 2,599,681 40.8% Increase4.9
126 / 300
Increase11 #2 Opposition Constantine Mitsotakis
06/1989 2,887,488 44.3% Increase3.5
145 / 300
Increase19 #1 Interim gov't
Constantine Mitsotakis
11/1989 3,093,479 46.2% Increase1.9
148 / 300
Increase3 #1 National unity gov't
Constantine Mitsotakis
1990 3,088,137 46.9% Increase0.7
150 / 300
Increase2 #1 Minority gov't Constantine Mitsotakis
1993 2,711,737 39.3% Decrease7.6
111 / 300
Decrease39 #2 Opposition Constantine Mitsotakis
1996 2,586,089 38.1% Decrease1.2
108 / 300
Decrease3 #2 Opposition Miltiadis Evert
2000 2,935,196 42.7% Increase4.6
125 / 300
Increase17 #2 Opposition Kostas Karamanlis
2004 3,360,424 45.4% Increase2.7
165 / 300
Increase40 #1 Majority gov't Kostas Karamanlis
2007 2,994,979 41.8% Decrease3.6
152 / 300
Decrease13 #1 Majority gov't Kostas Karamanlis
2009 2,295,967 33.5% Decrease8.3
91 / 300
Decrease61 #2 Opposition Kostas Karamanlis
05/2012 1,192,103 18.9% Decrease14.6
108 / 300
Increase17 #1 Interim gov't
Antonis Samaras
06/2012A 1,825,497 29.7% Increase8.2
129 / 300
Increase21 #1 Coalition gov't
Antonis Samaras
01/2015 1,718,694 27.8% Decrease1.9
76 / 300
Decrease53 #2 Opposition Antonis Samaras
09/2015 1,526,205 28.1% Increase0.3
75 / 300
Decrease1 #2 Opposition Vangelis Meimarakis

Hellenic Parliament

Election results

New Democracy is a member of the European People's Party, the largest European political party since 1999, and its MEPs sit with the EPP Group in the European Parliament. Internationally, New Democracy is a member of the Centrist Democrat International,[35] and the International Democrat Union.[36]

International affiliation

In its electoral campaign for the January 2015 legislative election, Samaras promised to continue with his plan to exit the bailout and return to growth by further privatizations, a corporate tax rate reduced to 15 percent and a recapitalization of Greece's banks.[32] The party received a total of 747,214 € of state funding, the largest share of all political parties in Greece.[33] New Democracy during its rule introduced a strict immigration policy, and proposed strengthening this policy as part of its political agenda.[34]

2015 election

Within a few days, party officials spoke of "renegotiating" existing agreements with the EU and IMF.[27] EU partners requested that Samaras sign a letter committing him to the terms of the rescue package, in what was seen as an effort to keep the nationalist elements of his party happy. Samaras argued that his word should be enough and that the demand for a written commitment was "humiliating".[28] Both Papademos and the EU insisted on a written commitment. New Democracy repeated its call for new elections.[29] Samaras was said to be infuriating European leaders by only partly backing the international reform programme.[30] A meeting of Eurozone's Finance Ministers was postponed in February 2012, when it became apparent that not all the main political parties were willing to pledge to honour the conditions demanded in return for the rescue package; a day later Samaras reversed course and wrote to the European Commission and IMF, promising to implement the austerity measures if his party were to win a general election in April.[31] German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble suggested postponing the election and setting up a small technocratic cabinet like Italy’s to run Greece for the next two years.[31]

The referendum was never held, and Papandreou resigned in early November 2011. New Democracy supported the new national unity government headed by Lucas Papademos; however the party's support for austerity appeared lukewarm at first.[25][26]

A few days later, Papandreou announced a surprise referendum.[23] During the frantic negotiations that followed, Samaras offered to support the austerity package he had initially condemned if Papandreou resigned and an interim government be appointed to lead the country to elections early in the new year.[24]

New Democracy was in opposition during the first phase (2009–11) of the Second bailout package to supplement the one agreed in May 2010.[20] Samaras initially blasted the deal.[21] In reality New Democracy had dismissed cross-party agreement even before the deal was agreed.[22]

Structure of the August 2012 Hellenic Parliament with New Democracy winning 128 seats.

Government debt crisis

On 29 November 2009, Antonis Samaras was elected the new leader of New Democracy by the party base at the 2009 leadership election.[14] Following early results showing Samaras in the lead, his main rival Dora Bakoyannis conceded defeat and congratulated Samaras for his election;[15] later she left New Democracy to found her own party, Democratic Alliance. Samaras himself had also left New Democracy in 1992 because of his hard stance on the Macedonia naming dispute and found his own party, Political Spring; he returned to New Democracy in 2004.[16]

On 2 September 2009 Karamanlis announced his intention to call an election, although one was not required until September 2011.[8] The parliament was dissolved on 9 September, and the 2009 legislative election was held on 4 October. New Democracy's share of the parliamentary vote dropped to 33.47% (down by 8.37%) and they won only 91 of 300 seats, dropping by 61 since the last election.[9] The rival PASOK soared to 43.92% (up 5.82%), and took 160 seats (up 58).[9] The 33.5% tally marked a historic low for the party since its founding in 1974.[10] Karamanlis conceded defeat and stated that he would resign as a leader of New Democracy, and would not stand as a candidate at the next party election.[11] Two former Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Dora Bakoyannis and Antonis Samaras, as well as Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis were announced as candidates,[12] with Samaras being the favorite to win.[13]

Kiosk of political party in Athens in 2009.
Political campaign of party New Democracy before the European Parliament election in Greece in 2009.

2009 defeat

[7] On 16 September 2007,

2007 re-election

The regions that consistently support New Democracy include the Peloponnese, Central Macedonia and West Macedonia. On the other hand, the party is weak in Crete, the Aegean Islands, Attica and West Greece.

Kostas Karamanlis giving an interview at a 2008 EPP summit


Under Karamanlis, New Democracy experienced an evident increase in popularity, but in the 2004 election Karamanlis managed to take a clear win with 45.36% of the vote and 165 seats, and New Democracy returned to power after eleven years in opposition, scoring an all-time record of 3,359,682 votes in the history of Greek elections.

In the 1993 elections, New Democracy suffered an easy defeat with 39.30% of the vote, something that led to Mitsotakis' resignation and the election of Miltiadis Evert in the party's leadership. In the early 1996 legislative election, New Democracy was defeated again by Costas Simitis' PASOK registering 38.12%, but Evert obtained a re-election as the party's leader in the same year. However, in the spring of 1997 a new conference took place, in order to elect a new president among others. Kostas Karamanlis, nephew of the party's founder, was elected the sixth president of New Democracy.

Since 1993

In a turbulent international political environment following the 1989 Fall of Communism in Europe, Mitsotakis' government focused on cutting government spending, the privatization of state enterprises, the reformation of the public administration and the restoration of the original electoral system, with the addition of an election threshold of 3%. In foreign policy, the priorities were the restoration of confidence among Greece's economic and political partners, NATO and the United States. Mitsotakis also supported a new dialogue with Turkey on the Cyprus dispute and a compromise over the Macedonia naming dispute; the latter triggered an irritation among the MPs of New Democracy, which led Antonis Samaras to leave it and form a new political party in June 1993, Political Spring; one more withdrawal later from its parliamentary group resulted in New Democracy's loss of the majority in the parliament and the call of early elections.

Eventually, in the 1990 election Mitsotakis' New Democracy defeated once again Papandreou's PASOK with a lead of 8.28%, but this time the 46.89% of votes awarded them with 150 seats, which allowed Mitsotakis to form a majority in the parliament with the support of Democratic Renewal's (DIANA) sole member of parliament and one more seat given by the Supreme Special Court, after a mistake in seat calculation was detected. After three consecutive wide wins with high vote percentages, Mitsotakis became the 178th Prime Minister of Greece, though with a slim parliamentary majority of 152 seats due to the electoral law in force at the time.

Mitsotakis led New Democracy to a clear win in the June 1989 legislative elections registering 44.28% of the vote but, due to the modification of the electoral law by the outbound PASOK government, New Democracy obtained only 145 seats which were not enough to form a government on its own. The aftermath was the formation of a coalition government under Tzannis Tzannetakis, consisted of New Democracy and Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos), with the latter also including at the time the Communist Party of Greece. In the subsequent elections of November 1989, New Democracy took one more comfortable win, increasing its share to 46.19% of the vote and 148 seats but, under the same electoral law, they were still short of forming a government and this led to a national unity government along with PASOK and Synaspismos, under Xenophon Zolotas.

Konstantinos Mitsotakis and Süleyman Demirel, Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey respectively, in the 1992 World Economic Forum.

Under the leadership of Georgios Rallis, New Democracy was defeated in the 1981 legislative elections by Andreas Papandreou's PASOK which ran on a left-wing populist platform, and was placed in opposition for a first time with 35.87% share of the vote and 115 seats. In the same day, on 18 October 1981, New Democracy was also defeated in the first Greek election to the European Parliament. In the following December, the party's parliamentary group elected Evangelos Averoff, former Minister for National Defence, as president of New Democracy, but he resigned in 1984 due to health problems. On 1 September 1984, Konstantinos Mitsotakis succeeded him in the party's presidency and he managed to increase its percentage in the 1985 elections to 40.85%, although it was defeated again and remained in opposition.

Opposition and Mitsotakis' rise to power

Karamanlis' vision concerning the accession of Greece into the European Communities, despite the resolute opposition of the Georgios Rallis was elected as the new leader of New Democracy and succeeded Karamanlis in premiership.

[4] whose delegates were elected by the members.Greek political party It was the first conference of any [4]

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