Campaign in Greece turns nasty; Samaras unveils ND’s tax reforms plan – Tsipras says debt’s haircut is necessary.
Athens.- Greek political parties ratchet up their rhetoric as election is less than two weeks away. All leaders campaigned in various cities offering both promises and dilemmas to the voters.
Samaras pledged tax cuts in a speech before New Democracy cadres on Saturday in Athens, adding that there will be no further reductions to pensions and salaries. Samaras also lashed out at leftist SYRIZA, noting that it aspired to a “Soviet-style economy” and was making pledges it could not keep. “
For his part, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras campaigning in the Peloponnese, accused Samaras of trying to scare Greeks, adding that continuing austerity policies would turn Greece into a “colony” and stressing the need for “a break from the past.”
ities offering both promises and dilemmas to the voters. (Story on page 43).
As campaigning intensifies, concern about the financial fallout is growing. The withdrawal of more than 3 billion euros from Greek banks in recent weeks has fueled talk that lenders will need liquidity assistance. Meanwhile, although Berlin has denied that it is bracing for a possible Greek eurozone exit, Kathimerini understands the German Finance Ministry has sought data from organizations that can assess the impact of such a scenario on Germany’s economy.
Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) has a 3 percentage lead over main government coalition partner New Democracy (ND) in a poll on voter intent conducted by MRB that was published in Agora newspaper on Saturday.
Asked which party they would vote for if elections were held today, participants responded as follows: SYRIZA 28.1 pct, ND 25.1 pct, To Potami 5.7 pct, the Communist Party of Greece 4.8 pct, PASOK 4.6 pct, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) 4.5 pct, Independent Greeks (ANEL) 2.6 pct, newly-founded Movement of Democratic Socialists 2.4 pct and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 1 pct, ANDARSYA 1 pct, Democratic Left (DIMAR) 0.9 pct, “Other” 2.8 pct, while 16.5 pct were Undecided.
A Metron Analysis poll commissioned by the newspaper “Parapolitika” puts SYRIZA 3.3 points ahead with 27.1 pct, against ND’s 23.8 pct. The centre-left party ‘To Potami’ comes third with 6.7 pct, far-right Golden Dawn follows with 4.5 pct, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 4.2 pct, PASOK with 3.2 pct, Independent Greeks (ANEL) with 2.8 pct, the Movement of Democratic Socialists with 2.2 pct, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 1.1 pct and other parties 4 pct. A further 2.5 pct of participants in the survey said they would cast a blank/invalid vote, 9.6 pct said they were undecided, 6 pct said they would not vote and 2.3 pct did not answer. The poll was conducted between January 5 and January 8.
The Rass poll carried out on behalf of the financial paper “Ependysi” on January 7-8 and gives SYRIZA a 2.7 pct lead. Voter preferences recorded by Rass were as follows:
SYRIZA – 29.8 pct, ND – 27.1 pct, Golden Dawn – 5.2 pct, To Potami – 5 pct, KKE – 4.8 pct, PASOK – 3.4 pct, ANEL – 2.5 pct, Movement of Democratic Socialists – 2.2 pct, ‘other’ parties – 4 pct, blank/invalid vote – 2 pct, unspecified vote – 14 pct. The survey was conducted nationwide on January 5 and on January 7-8.
SYRIZA showed a 3.2 percentage lead over New Democracy in a poll released Friday on voter intent conducted by Marc for private television station Alpha from January 5 to 8, 2015.
Asked to respond on “which party are you likely to vote for if national elections were held today,” the responses per party were as follows: SYRIZA 29.6 pct (28.1 pct in Marc’s last, December 2014, poll), ND 26.4 pct (25.1 pct), To Potami 5.6 pct, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) 5.5 pct, the Communist Party of Greece 5 pct, PASOK 3.8 pct, Independent Greeks (ANEL) 2.7 pct, newly-founded Movement of Democratic Socialists 2.6 pct and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 1.3 pct, “Other” 4.7 pct, Invalid/Blank/Abstain 2.3 pct, Undecided 10.5 pct.
In a separate poll conducted by METRISI for website Provocateur.gr, SYRIZA leads with 2.4 pct over ND.
According to the findings of the nationwide poll conducted by phone between January 7 and 9 among 1,500 people, SYRIZA receives 30.2 pct in vote intent, followed by ND with 27.8 pct.
Golden Dawn and To Potami come third, followed by PASOK, the Communist Party of Greece and the Movement of Democratic Socialists.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras continues to lead over SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras in the question “who is more suitable for prime minister” with 47.6 pct versus 36.5 pct, while the premier’s lead increases on who’s more suitable to handle national issues to 53.8 pct versus 27.6 pct.
Asked what kind of government they would like to have the day after the elections, 50.2 pct of respondents said they want a ND government or a coalition headed by ND, whereas 43.4 pct want a SYRIZA government or one led by SYRIZA.
SYRIZA has a 5.5-point lead over the dominant partner in Greece’s ruling coalition New Democracy, according to a Palmos Analysis poll unveiled on Friday on the website tvxs.gr.
Asked “which of the following parties would you vote for if general elections where taking place today,” participants in the poll put SYRIZA in the lead with 28.1 pct, followed by ND with 22.6 pct. The same figures in a Palmos Analysis opinion poll on January 3 were 29.4 pct and 22 pct, respectively.
Far-right Golden Dawn came third with 6.7 pct, followed by ‘To Potami’ party with 5.5 pct, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 4.3 pct, the Independent Greeks (ANEL) with 2.3 pct, PASOK with 2.1 pct, the Movement of Democratic Socialists with 1.5 pct and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 1.4 pct. A further 5 pct of the sample chose a party not listed above and 14.8 pct said they were undecided, while 1.6 pct said they would cast a blank/invalid vote, 2.7 pct said they would abstain and 1.5 pct refused to answer.
Asked to choose between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras as most suitable for prime minister, Samaras was selected by 42 pct of the sample and Tsipras by 33 pct, while 22 pct spontaneously replied ‘neither’ and 3 pct refused to reply.
When asked which of the parties was most likely to win the upcoming elections, irrespective of the individual’s personal preference, 68 pct replied SYRIZA, 19 pct replied ND, 1 pct another party and 12 pct gave no answer.