Despite widespread public approval for founding non-state universities, the government must deal with strong reactions on the left, including occupations of campuses, and the fear of violent incidents.
Talks between the Greek government and the British Museum on a possible transfer of the Parthenon Sculptures in the form of a loan are not expected to bear fruit before 2025 and, in any case, there are numerous legal and political obstacles to such an agreement.
The local and regional elections that will take place on October 8 – and the 15th for runoffs – were supposed to be of limited importance, following the ruling conservative New Democracy’s triumph in the May and June national elections.
It’s been less than three months since ruling New Democracy confirmed its electoral triumph in May in a second national election, on June 25, that saw it win well over double the share of the vote that second-placed SYRIZA received – 40.56% to 17.83%.
Greek-Turkish relations are returning to the forefront having been shaped by the meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Vilnius and the decision to explore the possibility of referring the major dispute with Ankara, namely the delimitation of the continental shelf and EEZ, to the international court at The Hague.
A period of four months is expected to determine whether Greece and Turkey can finally turn the page on the frequent periods of extreme tension and pave the way for an appeal to the International Court of Justice at The Hague to settle the basic bilateral dispute over the delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Having achieved what was thought until last May as unthinkable – winning a second four-year term with more than double the score of his closest rival – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ overarching goal is to solidify his support well beyond the conservative electorate and maintain the preference of centrist voters.
With the election race entering the final stretch, political party staff have turned their attention to the race for the so-called new undecided voters – which, according to the latest polls, amount to roughly 7%-8% of the total – and to those who may abstain altogether.
Given that a third election is a distinct possibility in the case that frontrunner New Democracy decreases its electoral percentage and a seven-party Parliament emerges, the polls on June 25 have added significance.
On the final stretch to the May 21 election, the two largest parties – ruling conservative New Democracy and leftist opposition SYRIZA – are concerned about the gap between them and the votes of the smaller parties vying to reach the magical 3% threshold that will allow them to be represented in Parliament.
As the election period enters the final stretch, the parties are considering alternative scenarios for the outcome of the May 21 ballot and their handling of the crucial phase of the exploratory mandates that will follow, with ruling conservative New Democracy maintaining a clear poll lead over leftist SYRIZA and center-left PASOK moving into double-digit percentages.