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θωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυι οπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγη ϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖ ANTONIS  SAMARAS   βνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτ The  most  successful  PR  campaign  in  European   ψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδ Political  History   φγηϕκτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυ ιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγ ηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχ ϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωε ρτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπα σδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλ ζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθ ωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµρτψυιοπασ δφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζ ξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθ ωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιο πασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕ κλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβν µθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψ υιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφ γηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχ ϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωε ρτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχϖβνµρτψυιοπασδφ γηϕκλζξχϖβνµθωερτψυιοπασδφγηϕκλζξχ  

Andrea  Solomonidou  

 

Andrea  Solomonidou    

                                                 

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ANTONIS  SAMARAS   THE  MOST  SUCCESSFUL  PR  CAMPAIGN  IN  EUROPEAN   POLITICAL  HISTORY    

Introduction   The   rise   and   fall   of   a   leader   has   always   been   a   great   factor   in   shaping   eras   throughout   history.   In   a   world   where   diversity   is   the   main   characteristic,   some   general   rules   seem   to   apply   everywhere,   whether   it’s   physics   and   math,   or   politics   and   culture.   The   cruellest   rule  that  fits  all  previously  mentioned  is  “what  goes  up,  comes  down”,  sometimes  crashing   and  burning.   Having  in  mind  “the  rule”  and  knowing  that  an  era  indicates  a  span  of  many  years  which   are   numbered   beginning   at   a   specific   date,   which   often   marks   the   origin   of   a   political   state,  dynasty,  ruler,  the  birth  of  a  leader  etc,  one  has  to  comprehend  the  importance  of   our  century’s  achievement.  Communication  and  to  be  more  precise:  Public  Relations.   In   the   name   of   honesty   one   has   to   recognise   that   Public   Relations   is   not   a   “creation”   of   Y2K;   on   the   contrary,   it   can   be   traced   back   to   the   early   mid-­‐20th   century.   Larry   Tye,   a   Boston   Globe   reporter,   believes   we   owe   the   birth   of   PR   to   Edward   L.   Bernays   and   awards   him  with  the  title  “the  Father  of  Spin”(1998).     Edward   L.   Bernays   is   considered   by   many   the   pioneer   that   100   years   ago   applied   and   combined  theories  that  no  one  could  ever  imagine  possible  to  turn  into  this  huge  industry   that  dominates  pretty  much  everything  nowadays.  As  Freud’s  nephew,  influenced  by  the   Freudian   Psychoanalysis   movement   and   fascinated   by   the   Gustave   LeBon’s   Crowd   psychology   theory,   Bernays   theories   became   the   foundation   of   this   mixture   that   would   soon  result  in  a  series  of  books  on  how  to  “manipulate”  the  crowd’s  opinion.   Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

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Propaganda   (1928),   his   most   important   book   throughout   20th   century   argued   that   the   scientific  manipulation  of  public  opinion  was  necessary  to  overcome  chaos  and  conflict  in   society.  Up  to  this  day,  this  is  the  strongest  argument  anyone  has  ever  spoke,  the  prettiest   packaging  anyone  has  ever  used  to  sell  tips  on  influencing  public  opinion.   In   the   next   chapters   of   this   paper,   we   will   thoroughly   examine   one   of   the   oddities   in   European  and  Global  Political  history  and  PR’s  role  in  it.  Antonis  Samaras  can  probably  be   considered   the   only   exception   of   a   rule   that   as   aforementioned,   can   be   applied   everywhere.   The   rise   and   fall   of   a   leader…but   in   this   case   the   re-­‐rise   under   different   circumstances,   during   different   decades,   but   most   importantly   in   different   Political   Parties.      

THE  BACKGROUND   The  1977-­1993  era   Born   in   1951,   Antonis   Samaras   graduated   the   famous   College   of   Athens,   founded   by   his   grandmother   Penelope   Delta,   author   and   one   of   the   most   prestigious   figures   of   20th   century  in  Greece.  Coming  from  a  very  controversial  family  background,  he  learned  how   to   balance   between   two   worlds.   A   world   filled   with   Intellectuals,   Politicians   and   Social   Elite  while  he  kept  down  to  earth  being  in  touch  with  the  countryside  due  to  his  father.   Kostantinos  Samaras,  was  a  self-­‐made  very  well  known  and  respected  doctor  originating   in   Pylos   village   of   the   County   of   Messinia.     These   two   backgrounds   played   a   significant   role  in  shaping  his  personality  and  determined  the  man  that  he  is  today.  Being  close  to  the   people  of  the  countryside  whilst  at  the  same  time  easily  relate  to  Socialites,  was  the  two   sides  of  the  same  coin.      

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The   continuation   of   his   academic   education,   places   him   in   Amherst   College   in   Boston   Massachusetts   as   an   Economics   Major,   followed   by   an   M.B.A.   from   Harvard   Business   School.     During   that   time,   United   State’s   youth   started   to   be   more   politically   active   than   the  generations  before,  showing  their  opposition  to  the  War  in  Vietnam.  This  could  only   result   in   consolidating   Samaras   feeling   of   responsibility   as   youth   to   his   home   country,   suffering  from  a  military  regime.     His  return  to  Greece  coincided  with  the  beginning  of  a  new  era  in  Greek  Political  history   after  the  fall  of  the  Military  regime  (1967-­‐1974).    His  strong  beliefs  and  willpower  found   as  an  exponent  the  newly  founded  right  wing  conservative  Party  of  New  Democracy.  At  a   very   young   age,   he   had   the   opportunity   to   interact   with   all   the   prestigious   politicians   and   be  granted  their  trust  to  built  the  Youth  organization  of  New  Democracy  throughout  the   country.     All   this   could   only   result   in   his   successful   candidacy   as   an   MP   of   his   home   County   of   Messinia  in  1977,  declaring  him  the  youngest  elected  MP  in  history.     Throughout  the  next  years  he  successfully  ran  three  more  election  campaigns,  always  as  a   candidate  of  his  home  county,  something  that  he  keeps  doing  up  till  today.     The   1989   -­‐   1990   elections   resulted   in   New   Democracy’s   prevalence   after   8   years   of   being   the  opposition.  Antonis  Samaras  was  placed  in  the  Ministry  of  Economics,  only  to  soon  be   moved  to  the  Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs  where  he  remained  until  April  1992.  His  mandate   came  to  an  end  due  to  a  public  fall-­‐out  with  the  Prime-­‐Minister  Konstantinos  Mitsotakis   regarding  the  change  of  Government’s  strategy  in  the  F.Y.R.O.M.  Issue.    

Sticking  to  ones  ground  

Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

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The  dispute  with  the  Prime  Minister,  coming  to  a  direct  conflict  with  his  beliefs,  led  him  to   the  decision  of  leaving  the  Party  of  New  Democracy  as  well  as  giving  up  his  status  as  an   MP.     In   the   year   that   followed   he   founded   a   new   Party   with   the   name   “Political   Spring”.   His   request  to  colleagues  that  followed  his  leadership  to  the  new  party  was  to  give  up  their   status   as   a   New   Democracy   MP   as   well.     The   voters   drawn   to   this   party   were   mainly   affected  by  Samaras  opposition  to  the  change  of  strategy  by  the  Prime  Minister.  A  strategy   that,  as  he  believed,  ought  to  be  in  the  best  interest  of  our  country.     Despite   the   odds,   Political   Spring   managed   to   enter   the   Parliament   in   1993   gaining   roughly  5%.     Throughout   the   90’s   one   can   understand   that   this   Party   was   founded   not   as   a   protest   Party,  but  as  an  alternative,  or  more  precisely  as  a  rizospastic  proposal.      

Opening  New  (Old)  Horizons   “Political   Sping”   failed   to   enter   the   Parliament   in   the   1996   election.   This   marked   the   beginning  of  new  Era  that  will  eventually  bring  him  back  to  where  he  begun  in  first  place.   Only  this  time,  circumstances  will  be  different.     By   March   2004   “Political   Spring”   is   formally   dissolved   with   Samaras   giving   his   unbinding   support   to   New   Democracy.   In   june   of   the   same   year   Samaras   represents   N.D.   as   an   Elected   Member   of   European   Parliament   in   European   People’s   Party.   Soon   enough,   the   next  National  Elections  of  2007  find  him  being  a  candidate  once  again  with  N.D.  after  17   years.   At   the   January   2009   reformation   of   the   government   the   Prime   Minister   appoints   Samaras  as  the  Minister  of  Culture,  a  Ministry  that  originally  was  under  the  “command”  of    

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the   Prime   Minister   himself.   This   was   placed   in   a   significant   time   frame   when   the   Acropolis   Museum   was   heading   towards   the   grand   opening   after   many   years   of   preparations.   The   opening   was   an   event   of   Global   Reach   where   Heads   of   States   throughout   the   world   would   attend   along   with   many   prestigious   figures   of   the   global   economic,  cultural  and  political  scene.     September   of   2009   is   a   catalyst   month   in   N.D.   agenda   since   the   Prime   Minister   decided   to   dissolve  the  government  and  declare  early  elections  with  a  very  strong  possibility  of  N.D.   ‘s   defeat   and   the   Socialists’   rise   in   power   after   five   and   a   half   years.   Even   though   Samaras   was  against  this  decision,  he  ran  as  a  candidate  of  N.D.    

THE  RISE  OF  A  LEADER   October   4th   2009,   the   day   of   Greece’s   last   parliament   elections,   the   president   of   New   Democracy   and   former   Prime-­‐Minister   Kostas   Karamanlis,   due   to   New   Democracy’s   defeat,   resigned   his   position   and   therefore   launched   an   extraordinary   Party   Congress   a   month  afterwards  in  order  to  elect  a  new  President  of  the  Party.     After   twelve   and   a   half   years   of   Kostas   Karamanlis   presidency   and   a   historical   massive   defeat   at   the   elections   New   Democracy   was   in   urgent   need   to   re-­‐define   its   structure,   ideology  and  vision  through  electing  new  leadership.    

The  strategy   Antonis   Samaras   can   be   perceived   as   a   credence   brand.   It’s   a   “product”   that   you   don’t   need  to  convince  people  for  its  quality  on  the  contrary  if  you  focus  on  its  core  values  all   you  need  to  do  is  emphasise  them.    The  determinants  that  led  him  to  the  15th  of  October,  

Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

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when   the   first   call   was   addressed   to   him   by   members   of   the   youth   in   order   to   run   for   President,  were  controversial  but  strong  enough  to  establish  a  consistency.     Throughout   all   of   his   electoral   campaigns,   as   an   MP   and   later   on   as   the   Leader   of   Political   Spring,   consistency   was   the   derivative.   The   prism   effect   transformed   him   from   a   figure   very  well  known  and  respected  by  the  supporters  of  N.D.  to  the  exponent  of  a  wider  social   spectrum.    And  this  will  be  the  main  element  of  his  campaign  16  years  later.         After   1996   and   besides   the   fact   that   he   was   no   longer   part   of   the   main   political   scene,   Samaras   never   withdrew.   His   appearances   still   made   a   tremendous   impact   mainly   because  of  the  fact  that  they  were  strategically  placed  to  be  rare  and  focused  on  important   issues.   His   goal   was   for   people   to   understand   that   his   low   profile   was   a   characteristic   deriving  from  being  true  to  his  values  and  not  because  of  any  remorse.     His  appearances  were  complimented  by  the  fact  that  he  never  neglected  his  own  contacts;   on  the  contrary  his  network  was  growing  bigger.  And  by  bigger,  one  should  understand   that   part   of   the   network   was   finding   its   way   back   to   N.D.   and   by   using   word   of   mouth   shifted  the  negative  climate.     At   same   time,   after   Karamanlis   election   as   President,   Samaras   always   let   the   people   assume  that  his  return  was  only  a  matter  of  time  due  to  the  fact  that  he  supported  every   major  decision  Karamanlis  was  making.  Furthermore  the  reasons  for  his  93’  withdrawal   from  N.D.  seemed  not  to  be  the  issue  anymore.        2004   finds   N.D.   in   a   very   critical   place.   The   defeat   of   the   2000   elections   left   N.D.   as   opposition  once  again  for  11  years  in  total.  This  time,  all  the  parameters  were  important   in  order  to  win  this  race.  The  fact  that  many  members  of  the  N.D  had  joined  the  Socialist   Party  (PASOK)  as  well  as  that  the  newly  elected  Socialist  President  Giorgos  Papandreou    

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was  a  personal  close  friend  of  Antonis  Samara’s  put  Karamanlis  in  a  very  difficult  position.     Rumour   had   it   that   Papandreou   was   pressuring   his   dear   old   friend   Antonis,   to   join   the   Socialist  ballots.  People’s  anticipation  was  growing  even  stronger.     Samaras  strategy  once  again,  to  remind  everyone  that  sticking  to  his  ground  was  always   his  main  concern,  proved  effective  since  the  president  of  the  Party  himself  on  one  of  his   speeches  in  the  county  of  Messinia  welcomed  Antonis  Samaras  back  to  N.D.     As  aforementioned,  in  2004  Samaras  was  elected  MEP  and  in  2007  he  was  elected  again,   after  17  years  of  absence,  MP  of  the  county  of  Messinia  with  N.D.    

THE  45-­DAY  RACE   Samaras  P.R.  campaign  for  presidency  was  a  mishmash  of  bits  and  pieces  of  32  years  of   political   experience.   Every   step   he   was   taking   was   thoroughly   examined   bringing   him   closer  to  what  he  was  destined  to  be:  The  president  of  New  Democracy.     In  order  to  be  successful  a  great  leader  is  always  surrounded  by  exquisite  associates.  In   this   case,   the   strategic   design   of   this   campaign   led   in   10   steps   the   effort   into   a   great   success.   1. THE  CALL   Even  though  he  was  prepared  for  some  time,  Samaras  decision  to  run  for  president   was   perceived   as   a   call   from   the   people   and   especially   the   young   people.   Throughout  the  campaign  he  never  really  needed  or  requested  the  support  of  the   MPs  or  any  other  officer  of  the  Party.      

Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

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2. THE  RULES   By   indirectly   applying   peer-­‐pressure   to   his   opponents,   he   always   seemed   to   be   playing  by  the  book,  reminding  everyone  that  he  is  running  in  any  case  scenario,  in   any  place  given.  Whilst  the  other  candidates  kept  arguing  about  technicalities,  he   carefully   laid   down   his   political   platform   and   kept   being   focused   on   what   was   important.   And   as   far   as   the   famous   dilemma   was   concerned   –   congress   vote   or   members   vote-­‐   he   never   suggested   either,   he   just   stated   clearly   the   fact   that   the   members  of  the  Party  needed  to  express  their  opinion  especially  after  the  historic   low  percentage  the  party  received  at  the  October  elections.     3. THE  PRESENCE     He  consolidated  his  presence  in  the  Political  scene  by  successfully  inaugurating  the   Acropolis   Museum   in   June   2009   as   the   Minister   of   Culture   gaining   maximum   positive  publicity  for  his  excellent  work.  Later  on,  his  MP  campaign  in  the  county  of   Messinia  during  September  was  the  only  successful  campaign  of  a  Party  that  was   crashing  after  five  and  a  half  years  of  being  in  government.  Parts  of  his  final  speech   were   broadcasted   all   over   the   nation   giving   hope   to   the   supporters   everywhere.   Noted   that   it   was   the   only   speech   broadcasted   apart   from   the   Prime   Minister’s   Kostas  Karamanlis.  All  these  facts  engraved  in  people’s  minds  “at  least  we  have  a   good  one  left”…and  never  faded  ever  since.     4. THE  NEW  MEDIA  Vs  THE  TRADITIONAL  MEDIA   When  Samaras  entered  the  race,  besides  the  sympathetic  view,  he  wasn’t  actually   the   favourite   to   win.   Other   opponents   had   significantly   more   time   to   prepare   for   it   and   without   having   the   “rich”   background   Samaras   had;   they   were   leading   the    

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race.   Samaras’   strategy   aimed   to   reach   directly   the   people   based   on   New   Media.   Traditional  media  were  only  used  in  the  countryside  where  people  are  still  close  to   their   local   media.   Local   channels,   local   newspapers   and   magazines   in   the   countryside  were  the  centre  of  the  campaign.  Big  television  stations  radios  and  big   newspapers  were  connected  with  the,  not  so  long  ago,  defeat  in  National  Elections,   hence   they   were   avoided.   It   was   decided   that   people   should   be   reached   through   social  networks,  blogs  and  channels  where  they  were  more  freely  expressed.     5. THE  ANTICIPATION   While  rumours  flying  around  seemed  less  and  less  like  rumours  each  passing  day,   the   anticipation   for   the   launch   of   the   campaign   website   was   growing   bigger   and   bigger.   The   only   mean   of   communication   was   Facebook   and   the   associates   deliberately   delayed   the   launch   of   the   site   in   order   to   coincide   with   the   official   announcement   of   the   candidacy.   The   video   of   the   announcement   as   well   as   the   speech  itself  was  the  first  thing  one  could  find  in  his  website  from  day  one  to  day   forty-­‐five.       6. THE  NETWORK  AND  THE  CORE  VALUES   People   started   to   get   more   interested.   The   user-­‐friendly   site   helped   them   learn   more  and  slowly  day-­‐by-­‐day  a  network  of  volunteers  started  to  build  and  expand   throughout  the  country.  No  one  really  ever  needed  to  teach  them  what  to  believe   in   or   what   to   say.   The   core   values   were   there,   as   Antonis   Samaras   always   expressed   them   in   difficult   times   this   country   faced.   Kernels   were   flying   all   over   the   place   spreading   the   word   of   mouth.   “This   is   our   leader”.   He   never   answered   in   any   calls   on   showing   remorse   and   apologizing   for   all   the   wrongs   his   opponents   Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

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charged   him   with.   Sticking   to   his   ground   in   1993   was   an   act   of   responsibility.   Sixteen  years  were  not  enough  to  change  that.  This  time,  the  people  were  with  him.       7. THE  MESSAGE   From  the  beginning  the  campaign  was  not  an  issue  of  convincing  people  to  vote  for   him,   on   the   contrary,   the   campaign   was   focused   on   participation.   They   created   special   assistance   points   on   how   people   can   vote,   what   kind   of   documents   they   need,  which  is  the  closest  voting  place,  in  this  way  taking  the  role  of  the  Ministry  of   Internal   affairs   and   giving   the   electoral   procedure   the   gravity   that   lacked   at   the   beginning.  Motivating  people,  the  members  of  the  party,  to  vote  was  a  crucial  bet   to  be  won.  This  was  a  fight  that  needed  as  many  participants  as  possible.  800.000   people   voted   on   November   29th.   One   can   say   that   the   turnout   was   amazing.   This   will   always   be   the   reference   point   New   Democracy’s   and   Antonis   Samaras’   specifically.       8. THE  PEOPLE   Whilst   the   other   candidates   expressed   with   strong   and   clean-­‐cut   messages,   Samaras   addressed   the   people   by   focusing   on   their   main   concern.   The   Party   and   the   Country   was   the   main   axis   the   campaign   was   build.   “Lets   take   New   Democracy   higher”.  “Let’s  put  Greece  back  where  it  belongs.”  Most  importantly,  his  associates   kept   his   profile   as   simple   as   the   next-­‐door   neighbour.   The   biography   was   title   “Antonis”   creating   the   feeling   of   an   old   friend   giving   his   perspectives,   passing   us   the  torch  of  an  effort  to  be  taken  successfully  if  we  do  it  together.          

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9. THE  SLOGAN   HOPE   was   the   word   used.   This   party   needed   hope.   Hope   that   it   will   be   strong   enough  again,  hope  to  take  up  the  burden  of  being  a  serious  opposition  party,  hope   that  all  the  wrongs  its  government  made  would  be  amended  under  the  wings  of  a   new  leader.  The  previous  one  was  loved.  Hope  was  the  only  thing  people  saw  back   in   2004   when   a   new   vote   record   was   set   for   this   Party.   But   2009   finds   them   disappointed   and   disgusted   from   a   government   that   never   fulfilled   its   goals:   the   hopes  of  its  supporters  and  the  people’s  in  general  for  a  better  future.     “Lets   all   participate   in   this   elections   and   make   New   Democracy   bigger   and   stronger.  In  order  for  New  Democracy  to  be  Greece’s  hope  again.  In  order  to  build   all  together  the  Greece  of  hope.”     10. THE  LEADER   Last   but   not   least,   Samaras   never   forgot   his   political   identity.   Besides   being   a   candidate,  he  still  was  an  MP  and  member  of  the  opposition  Party.  His  daily  agenda   was   not   just   filled   with   events   and   speeches   about   the   candidacy.   He   never   neglected  his  obligation  to  represent  opposition  on  a  daily  basis  with  articles  and   placements  in  the  Parliament  Assembly.  People  could  not  oversee  the  fact  that  his   presence   as   opposition   is   what   the   N.D.’s   President   role   nowadays   is   for.   With   a   series  of  important  actions  in  Governments  first  flaws  he  establish  the  significant   connection  of  his  name  with  the  true  fighter’s  and  therefore  a  worthy  Leader’s.           Andrea  Solomonidou  

                                                 

Advertising  and  PR  

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As   aforementioned,   if   Antonis   Samaras   were   a   product,   this   campaign   could   be   considered  the  most  successful  product  re-­‐placement  in  history.  In  essence  that  is   what   it   was.   A   P.R.   campaign   is   empowering   its   stakeholders   and   he   empowered   people  by  urging  them  to  participate.  He  communicated  what  he  always  stood  for   and   people   now   were   ready   to   share   their   values.   And   as   P.R.   campaigns   are   not   perceived  as  directly  linked  to  the  commercial  objectives  of  a  company,  Samaras’   campaign  was  not  about  him.  It  was  about  a  wider,  bigger  picture  that  he  offered   throughout  all  those  years.   There  was  never  a  leader  in  European  and  Global  Political  history  that  he  replaced   himself  as  a  leader  after  deciding  to  withdraw  from  a  Political  Party.  Many  might   say   that   Antonis   Samaras   fulfilled   his   destiny.   Rumours   were   placing   him   as   the   main   candidate   for   presidency   in   1993,   an   honour   that   he   rejected   in   order   to   never   compromise   his   beliefs   and   the   trust   that   others   putted   in   him.     After   17   years   of   absence   and   in   45   days   people   were   able   to   see   again   the   same   thing   they   saw   in   that   38-­‐year-­‐old   –   young   -­‐   Minister   of   Foreign   affairs.   The   fact   that   he   preferred  giving  up  a  promising  political  career  for  the  sake  of  his  Country.       Back  in  1992  Kostantinos  Mitsotakis  tried  to  ridicule  Samaras  decision  to  leave  the   government   and   consequently   the   Party   and   the   MP   status   “In   10   years   nobody   is   even  going  to  talk  about  it  {referring  to  the  F.Y.R.O.M.  name  issue}.  “     On   29th   of   November   2009   Antonis   Samaras   is   the   newly   elected   President   of   New   Democracy.     It’s  17  years  later  and  people  still  talk  about  it.        

 

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Antonis Samaras - The most successful PR campaign in the History of Politics