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Easter with a view towards the election ballot boxes

15 April 2012 / 18:04:14  GRReporter
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Three weeks before the elections the two major parties - New Democracy and PASOK – are trying to find a way to keep pace with society. Their rates remain at historically low levels, while in the headquarters of both parties members are feverishly discussing what strategy to implement in the coming days, as well as the details about the campaign. Public speeches of the leaders of both parties - Evangelos Venizelos and Antonis Samaras showed that the time has come for the great dilemmas to be placed on the agenda. PASOK brought to the foreground the question of how the country will be governed so as to save the national treasure and for Greece to remain within the eurozone. New Democracy relies on the alternative "single-party government or no government and new elections," and insists that it can achieve changes in the policy of the memorandum. So far, people do not seem to be responding to these arguments. The fact that over the last two weeks, the percentages of both parties remain "frozen" according to the polls and in some places have even slightly decreased is quite indicative.

According to some polls, and also according to some politicians, the percentage of the two-party system will eventually reach a little over 50%. They show that the important question for PASOK is whether it will be able to convince the middle class which supported it over the years to go and vote. If this happens, PASOK will probably exceed 20%. New Democracy has a chance to reach 30%, provided that it stabilizes its political orientation. Also, it seems that the Democratic Left party and the "Independent Greeks" will not be able to maintain the high rates that they currently have until the end, unlike the Nationalist Party "Golden Dawn", which according to all polls will enter the Parliament. The Communist Party KKE and the left coalition SYRIZA are on the rise. Currently the losses of the parties cannot be determined, since about 40% of the voters said they would decide in the last week who they will vote for.

The development of Greece will depend on the elections

In the period when the pre-election battle reaches its peak, the Government, supported by the two major parties will continue its activities. As Prime Minister Lucas Papademos emphasized, in his speech for the dissolution of the parliament, that pre-election period does not mean that the operation of government stops. "We can not afford to waste time. The problems do not wait. The government, which will be comprised after the elections on the 6th of May will have a difficult mission," he said.

In this same speech Papademos expressed his views about the country, following a bold political line. "I'm sure that as a society we will invest in creation, not in destruction. This means choosing the way that guarantees the place of our country in the European Union and in the eurozone. On the choice we make will depend not only what government will be drawn up after the election. The development of Greece in the coming decades will also depend on this", said the Prime Minister.

At this stage the establishment of a single-party government seems like an unattainable dream. Therefore, the plans which the parties will present for the rehabilitation of the country, should be able to provide a broad agreement so as to increase the chances for the implementation of these plans after the elections. At the same time the parties will have to overcome the wrath of the people, the rejection of the old party system and the persistent requests for cleansing, driving certain groups of young people (and not only) to the far rightist party. Experienced party functionaries from the two major parties expressed their concerns that PASOK and New Democracy are embraced in a fatal tango and pre-election arrows will be directed not only towards the rival but they will hurt both parties, which have shared the power over the past 38 years.

Angry voters

Members of the Parliament and ministers, who have already started their pre-election meetings with voters, recognize that every day they encounter an electorate different from the one they knew in the past. "People are angry, suspicious, they have become rude and are insulting." "They come to meetings as if they are ashamed and want to talk about their problems rather than to hear us." «They are tired of listening to us diagnose the problems, they are looking for solutions", they say.

In the headquarters of PASOK, members are actively working on the plan for the rehabilitation of Greece through proposals that will complement or even go beyond the policy of the memorandum. According to sources, this plan will contain specific proposals whose value has been calculated. In addition to this similar measures and any other proposal of the leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras will also be calculated. Evangelos Venizelos is continuously saying about him that "he is outside time and space" and acting without being conscious of the dangers, insisting on drawing up a single party government through continuous elections.

The objectives of PASOK

Evangelos Venizelos is gradually putting to the fore the question not only about what government, but also who will be the Prime Minister to govern the country. Both he himself and his associates say that he has carried alone the burden of the negotiations around the second memorandum and the PSI, while the leader of New Democracy "had been hiding." Furthermore, Venizelos was the first finance minister to eliminate part of the country's debt, and not add any additional debt.

Tags: Easter elections PASOK New Democracy strategies alternatives
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