NEWS

Simitis gains, PASOK loses

In the immediate aftermath of this month’s Copenhagen EU summit, which confirmed Cyprus’s accession, Prime Minister Costas Simitis has gained a sizable popularity boost. Nevertheless, and despite hitting all the right chords on foreign policy, the ruling socialists would still be voted out of office were elections to be held immediately, according to two polls published yesterday. A Metron Analysis poll in the Sunday Eleftherotypia found that 44.4 percent of respondents see Simitis as best qualified to rule the country, followed by 36 percent who named New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis. Some 82.2 percent said they approved of Simitis’s handling of Cyprus’s accession, 44.8 percent agreed with the UN Cyprus peace proposals, 60 percent said Turkey should enter the EU if it meets the requirements and 42.3 percent said relations with Turkey would improve after the EU summit. Still, a Kappa Research poll in the Sunday Vima found that ND would receive 39.1 percent of the vote were elections to be held now, followed by PASOK’s 33.5 percent.