Two mainstream parties lose ground; ND retains lead, while the left climbs to 15%, poll shows
Athens.- The two mainstream parties in the country, ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK, appear to have lost ground since the September general elections, according to results of a recent poll, published on Sunday in an Athens daily. In one of the main findings, ND and PASOK together pooled 63.3 percent of respondents’ preference if elections were to be held now.
Specifically, ND garnered 33.2 percent’ PASOK 30.1; the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 8.2 percent; the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) 6.8, and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party 3.7 percent.
Additionally, the poll indicated a greater dissatisfaction on the part of PASOK supporters vis-à-vis the party’s opposition tactics.
The poll, conducted by the Marc firm for the Sunday edition of the newspaper “Ethnos”, was carried out on a nationwide basis between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20, 2007, on a sample of 1,244 households.
The main reason for this major shift is the scandals that rock the government and the painful changes in the social security system proposed by New Democracy, creating a wave of labor strikes. Main opposition party PASOK, yet seems unable to capitalize, because Greek voters find it equally responsible for the problems Greek society faces.
Kathimerini commentator, Costas Iordanidis, wrote yesterday that “the new year finds the political leadership decidedly bolstered, yet the Greek political scene is looking dangerously fluid. A slender parliamentary majority will not create a problem for the government in itself. But the low-key presence of the opposition in Parliament robs New Democracy of the opportunity for a head-on collision that could lead to a political rallying of the troops at a time when it is trying to promote changes to the social security system. Instead of indulging in the rhetoric of confrontational politics, the government finds itself in the unenviable position of having to deal with the reactions of all the interested social groups”.
Days only after the resignation of the Minister of Labor Vassilis Magginas, New Democracy government faces another major problem, that of former culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos, a close friend of Prime Minister Karamanlis, who attempted suicide before Christmas.
Yiannis Adrianos, the director of the prime minister’s press office, testified before the investigating magistrate probing the case on Friday afternoon. Adrianos was summoned by the second special investigator for a clarification regarding the issue of the DVD sent by the prime minister’s press office to the head of the Appellates Court on Friday.
Sources said Andrianos admitted that he had been given the DVD a few days before Zachopoulos tried to kill himself but had forwarded it to prosecutors only the day after the attempted suicide.
After being tested at police labs, the controversial dvd regarding Zahopoulosʼ case will be referred to Justice. The dvd was proved to show Christos Zahopoulos and the detained former secretary of his ate the Culture Minister in intimate moments.
Publisher Andreas Sideris, a friend of Zachopoulos, also testified, telling the magistrate that the former public official had admitted to being blackmailed.
A former colleague of Zachopoulos, Evi Tsekou, is accused of having an affair with her boss and trying to blackmail him, allegations she denies.
In the days to come, the examiner is to request the alleged blackmailerʼs confidentiality of communication and bank transactions be lifted. At the same time, Sunday papers have been talking about the way the dvd was shot, its content, the possibility of a second one, as well as the course of action she embarked to gain a permanent working status.
Aleka Papariga, General Secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), commented on the issue on Sunday morning: “The Government is completely exposed. It has been following a policy, nourishing both legal and illegal scandals. No declaration by the Prime Minister is to distract us, neither the punishment of any possible or impossible person to be held accountable,” said Papariga.
Regarding Zahopoulosʼ health, the medical tests he underwent Saturday showed no brain damage. However, the chance of hospital-acquired infections keeps worrying his doctors.