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Greece 2010 mayoral poll: first social(ist) media elections

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New Athens and Thessaloniki mayors George Kaminis and Yiannis Boutaris managed the impossible on 14 November. This socialist victory sends five main messages - including the fact that 'people dont give a monkeys about the politicians'. Extract from the blog in Athens

Yesterday night was a surprise to whoever came to Athens. It was a feast, an unexpected event. Even the most optimistic could not have foreseen that George Kaminis and Giannis Boutaris would manage the impossible: to bring together around them, those creative people who are fed up with all the old-cutting politicians. Both are from the panhellenic socialist movement (Pasok). Kaminis was the former deputy Ombudsman for human rights in Greece (1998-2003), who was five years in office and regarded as a very progressive non-political person. He had to run against Nikitas Kaklamanis, the current mayor, who was regarded by many as non-succesful, and was supported by the conservatives and those in the far-right. Kaklamanis's last interview in a free press was regarded as really arrogant by the voters who couldnt forgive him for the December riots in 2008 and the terrible situation of the city in terms of cleaning and immigration.

Boutaris was an entrepreneur famous for being head of a wine production association in Greek Macedonia. He worked really hard to preserve the traditional Nymphaion village where the NGO for the protection of bears has its headquarters. After his actions the tiny village soon became a tourist spot. He was famous for being an alcoholic in the past, a problem that he overcame succesfully. He is regarded as ultra-liberal, and over the last days he had a conflict with local bishop Anthimos, whom he called 'mujahadeen'!

Five messages were sent to everyone yesterday and especially to our political system, including the fact that this was the first social media election, and that one independent candidate took 8% in the first round, showing voters are no sheep...

Read more in the blog post 'George Kaminis, Giannis Boutaris and the first ''social media elections'' in Greece! Yes we can!' on the official blog from Athens

Image: (cc) SpirosK/ Flickr;