ANTONIS SAMARAS, leader of the Greek New Democracy 370.
(photo credit: John Kolesidis/Reuters)
Jerusalem sent its best wishes to Athens on Thursday soon after Greece – after
two months of political stalemate – named a new cabinet to try and pull the
country out of its economic morass.
“Israel wishes the new government of
Greece much success in facing the complex economic challenges which lay ahead
for the country,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
share the hope that the government of Antonis Samaras will lead Greece toward a
better future. The State of Israel will continue to nurture its friendship with
the Greek people and their government, and will endeavor to widen the ties
between the two countries.”
Israel heaved a sigh of relief when Samaras
narrowly defeated the radical left SYRIZA party that had threatened to
fundamentally change Greece’s policy toward Israel, which had improved
dramatically over the last two years.
While congratulating the new
government, the statement said Israel shared the “concern of the democratic
forces in Greece” regarding the 18 members of the farright Golden Dawn party
elected to the Greek parliament “and the possible influence of this group on the
development of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideas in the country. We
trust in the ability of Greece to tackle this challenge too, and to preserve its
ancient democratic values.”
The Golden Dawn party, whose leader has
denied the Holocaust, received about 7% of the vote.