Karamanlis, Costas

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Costas Karamanlis (Konstantinos Alexandrou Karamanlis) (kō´stäs kärämänlēs´, kōnstäntē´nōs älĕk´sänŧħōō), 1956–, Greek politician, b. Athens. The nephew of Constantine Karamanlis, he is a lawyer and member of the center-right New Democracy party (ND; founded by his uncle). He was first elected to parliament in 1989 and rose quickly in ND, becoming a member of its central committee in 1993 and party leader in 1997. When ND soundly defeated the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) in 2004, Karamanlis became premier. In office, he emphasized fighting political and economic corruption, privatization of some state-run enterprises and job creation, and improving education and other services, but was only partially successful. His government narrowly retained its majority after the 2007 elections, but lost a snap election in 2009 when it was hurt by corruption scandals and a worsening economy. Karamanlis subsequently resigned as ND leader.