NEWS

Clothes do not a mayor make

Most Greeks approve of their mayors’ sartorial taste but have a low opinion of the services provided by local councils, according to a survey made public yesterday – just over a month after the country voted for new municipal and prefectural authorities. A poll conducted by the University of Thessaloniki on behalf of the Central Union of Municipalities and Villages (KEDKE) found that at least half of all respondents were highly dissatisfied with the quality of services provided by their municipalities, and extremely upset at what they saw as local authorities’ indifference to their problems. And some 50 percent complained that mayors used municipal TV and radio stations as propaganda vehicles. The most popular municipal department turned out to be the registry, with whose services 47 percent expressed satisfaction. The garbage-collecting and street-cleaning section came second at 46.9 percent, followed by the water and sewer services (43.1 percent). Among the least popular were the department issuing operation licenses for stores, coffee shops and restaurants (14.9 percent) and the municipal authorities that handle traffic issues (18.6 percent). A strong 74 percent voiced strong approval for their mayors’ taste in clothes, although it is unclear why that was part of the questionnaire. The survey also showed that word of mouth was the most important source of information for voters before the October 13 local elections – the second round of which was held in many parts of Greece on October 20. Some 67 percent said they learned about candidates’ platform from discussions with their friends, family and neighbors, while 54 percent mentioned television and 42 percent newspapers.