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first_imgNo clear winner emerged from the first televised debate among the leaders of the six parties in Greece on Monday night in Athens. Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis faced his main election rival George Papandreou, head of the socialist party PASOK, and the leaders of the other four political parties that are represented in parliament and europarliament, in a live televised debate held on Monday night. It was the first debate that was staged ahead of the upcoming Oct. 4 general elections. It lasted over three hours and was shown on six public and private TV channels. Praising the work of his government, Karamanlis admitted to mistakes that had been made, and portrayed himself as a guarantee for a strong leadership during hard times given the international financial crisis affecting Greece. He promised that the ruling conservative New Democracy party ( ND) will work harder against bureaucracy and corruption, if elected again, accusing the opposition parties of populism. On the foreign policy section, he repeated his government’s support for a future Turkish membership in the EU “which will benefit all.” On the other hand, Papandreou and the other heads of the opposition parties criticized the government’s policies and tried to present themselves as the credible alternatives. They placed their bets on “green economy,” promising a war against tax evasion, better management of the available European funds, stronger relationships with Greece’s neighbors and other states “in the benefit of the country.” No clear winners emerged from the encounter though because of the rigid format of the debate.Party leaders were not allowed to directly question or engage with each other. They could only answer questions posed by a panel of journalists and ask another party leader a question at the end, without being allowed to comment. As a result the whole debate was deemed predictable and short of passion by Greek standards. A second TV debate among Karamanlis and Papandreou will take place on tomorrow morning (Melbourne time). Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more