Greece: Coalition reaches compromise on candidate for European Commission

While Bakoyannis had some of the attributes needed for the position due to her previous role as a diplomat and strong connections with foreign officials, there were objections to her being nominated from PASOK and New Democracy. Bakoyannis, daughter of former ND leader Kostas Mitsotakis still has strong opponents within the conservative party.

Bakoyannis’s nomination would have also been in line with the wishes of European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker for more women to take up posts in his team. That is why the government briefly considered keeping Greece’s current representative, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in the position.

In the end, though, Samaras wanted a New Democracy official to represent Greece. There was only a tiny group of conservative politicians that would meet with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos’s approval. Kostis Hatzidakis, who was removed from the Development Ministry in a recent reshuffle, was one potential nominee but his tenure ended with disagreement within the coalition over the liberalisation measures he pushed for.

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