Candidates for Athens mayorship brace for TV debate

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis is to take part in a televised debate on Wednesday evening with his SYRIZA rival Gavriil Sakellaridis but a proposal for a similar discussion between the candidates for Attica governor fell foul of differences between the two hopefuls.

Antenna TV will host the first debate between Kaminis and Sakellaridis after the challenger proposed a televised meeting between the two candidates. It is possible others will follow before the weekend and the second round of municipal elections on Sunday. Kaminis gained 21 percent in the first round and Sakellaridis 20 percent.

Attica Governor Yiannis Sgouros, however, refused to take part in a debate with his SYRIZA rival Rena Dourou. Sgouros said he would not meet Dourou in a TV studio unless she withdrew allegations of corruption made against him. Sgouros also attacked the ex-SYRIZA MP over the cost of her campaign. Dourou insisted that Sgouros, backed by PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR), was not serving the public interest.

SYRIZA is also stepping up its campaigning for the European Parliament elections, also on Sunday, with a series of messages aimed at challenging the government’s assertion that stability would be put at risk if the leftists win. “The memorandum is not stability” will be one of the opposition party’s slogans.

The leftists also reached out to the Communist Party (KKE), offering to support its candidates in the second round of the local vote in return for the far-left party supporting SYRIZA’s hopefuls. KKE refused the offer.