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The hot trends at the second round of the local elections in Greece

13 November 2010 / 18:11:11  GRReporter
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As battles for nerves of steel emerge the election races in the three major municipalities of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki as well as in the regions of Attica, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, North Aegean, Central Greece and Peloponnese.
    The governing party throw all their efforts in support of Yannis Sgouros candidate for governor of the largest province in the country and its main objective is to increase of the election turnout and increase the difference with the New Democracy candidate. The opposition on the other hand hopes that its candidate Vassilis Kikilias may reverse if the voters who oppose the government's economic policy and the memorandum vote for him.
    In the Peloponnese region the independent candidate Petros Tatoulis who is supported by PASOK tried last week to increase the difference with the candidate of New Democracy and his former colleague Dimitris Drakos. PASOK had issued a directive to the local members of parliament to deploy and support more actively the nomination of Tatoulis while the opposition believes that if the difference between the two candidates decreases in sub-region Arcadia the minimum difference from the first round will be turn in favor of its candidate.
    The outcome of the race for the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace is a mystery to both party headquarters not only because of the insignificant difference of 1% between the two candidates, but also because it is not clear how the Muslim minority will vote which will be decisive in the fight.
    In the area of Central Greece PASOK’s candidate Klearhos Pergantas succeeded in gaining a difference of 17% at the first electoral round. The expectations of New Democracy are not big, but it is still believed that if voters of Laos vote in the second round in support of Athanasios Himaras the battle will become a derby match.
    The key to victory in the North Aegean region lies in the decision which the voters of the Left parties will take, whose vote reached 23 percent last Sunday. PASOK expect the party's candidate to be supported by the voters of the Communist Party of the island of Lesbos, while New Democracy does not believe that the battle will be decided by them but by the position of the left-wing voters from the islands of Chios and Ikaria.
    The battle for Mayor of Athens has become a thriller because of the backlash of the candidate of the governing party Georgeous Kaminis and the decrease in the percentages of the current Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis. Throughout the past week the candidate of PASOK stressed on his communication strategy by appearing on television, participating in various events and meetings with his opponents from the first round, who failed to earn a place in the second one. In turn, Nikitas Kaklamanis apparently relies on the conservative reflexes of the Athenian society, as his attacks against his opponents are focused on his views on illegal immigrants.
    Last Sunday in Thessaloniki New Democracy's candidate Costas Giulekas gained the small difference of 4% against the independent candidate Yannis Boutaris who has the support of PASOK. In the second round Giulekas will rely on support from voters with conservative ideas, while Butaris gathers traditional leftist voters who support him in his dispute with the Thessaloniki Bishop Antim.
    For the mayoralty of Piraeus New Democracy expects to see the results from the support of the party candidate Vassilis Mihalolyakos on the part of Petros Mandouvalos, a former member of the party and an independent candidate during the first round. PASOK believes that their candidate Yannis Mihas has big chances to win in case he manages to convince the voters of the left parties to support him.
    Uneasy is the political atmosphere in PASOK on the eve of the second round of local elections. The government believes that if the party loses the election race on Sunday it will be very difficult to impose the stringent new economic measures, which are anyway provided in the state budget for 2011. At the same time the danger of starting a new cycle of introversion in the governing party is more than obvious, which may lead to delays in the work of government, but also to undermining the credibility of Greece by the triple, and above all by the international markets.

Tags: local elections PASOK New Democracy second round politics
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