New Democracy loses Spiliotopoulos, gains Chatzimarkakis

Aris Siliotopoulos, a former New Democracy minister and MP who gave up his seat in Parliament to run in May’s local elections for Athens mayor, said on Friday that he will not be running on the conservative ticket in the January 25 general elections.

New Democracy, however, gained a new candidate after former German MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, also on Friday, announced his support for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in the upcoming elections.

In November, Chatzimarkakis was named the Greek Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large by Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of coalition partner PASOK Evangelos Venizelos.

A former MEP with Germany’s Free Democratic Party, Chatzimarkakis put an end to his political career in Germany due to his frustration over the way his party and the German government had treated Greece and Cyprus with regard to their bailouts. He subsequently launched the Greek European Citizens party which took part in the European Parliament elections in May.