Can Europe Make It?

The euro elections in Greece - measuring the temperature in recent days

Ioanna Karamitrousi
16 May 2014

A recent poll conducted by GPO for Mega Channel news reveals a tightly fought contest between Greece’s two leading parties, Syriza and New Democracy, with the main opposition party currently in the lead in both local and European elections.

In the voting intentions for May’s elections to the European Parliament, Syriza gets 25.2%, New Democracy follows with 24.6%, the River 10%, Golden Dawn 8.8%, KKE 8.2%, Olive Tree 7%, Independent Greeks 4.3%, and the Democratic Left 3.5% while 8.3% of voters still haven’t made up their mind.

However, Greece’s anti-austerity opposition held a two-point lead over the ruling conservatives in the latest opposition poll before European elections in May that are being viewed as a test of support for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ shaky coalition. Polls so far had shown the two parties running neck and neck, or with the opposition party Syriza slightly ahead. The Pulse poll for the newspaper “To pontiki”, published on Thursday, also showed that the political party, the River, a movement launched barely two months ago, had shot up to third place, alongside the far-right Golden Dawn party.

Leftist Syriza, which opposes Greece’s EU/ IMF bailout and the tough conditions that come with it, would get 25.2% of the vote if European Union elections were held now, one percentage point ahead of Samaras’s New Democracy, the poll showed.

The Golden Dawn party, many of whose lawmakers are under criminal investigation following the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a party sympathizer last September, is the fourth most popular political force with 8.8%. Tied with them is the River, a party launched by a popular television journalist Stavros Theodorakis at the end of February, which has won strong support from voters disgusted by the political establishment.  

Greece’s two bailouts since 2010, worth 240 billion euros, have come at the price of wage and pension cuts and tax rises. Thousands of businesses have closed during a six-year recession and unemployment has hit 27.5%, more than double the euro zone average. Dozens of state high school teachers marched to Parliament on the second day of a 48-hour strike by public sector workers against planned layoffs, holding banners which read “No to firings”. Earlier, about 30 people occupied an office belonging to the minister in charge of overhauling the public sector, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a symbolic protest.

We are looking forward to see what is going to be the result. These elections will be really important for the future of Greece and Europe.

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