PASOK?s challenge for voters

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos will make a televised address Saturday in an attempt to convince voters that his party is a more reliable choice at the ballot box on May 6, while his rival, New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, continues attempts to prevent the conservatives from losing supporters to smaller parties.

Sources told Kathimerini that Venizelos intends to present voters with four main ?dilemmas,? or challenges. The first is to remind them that Greece has to be governed after the elections and that any administration should have at least 50 percent of the vote. He will also underline that it is vital for Greece to remain in the euro and the European Union.

Venizelos will suggest that PASOK is the only party that represents the center ground. Finally, he will challenge voters to set aside their anger when they cast their ballot.

Samaras was in northern Greece, where he visited the oil drilling facilities owned by Kavala Oil. The ND leader has stressed the need for Greece to make greater efforts to exploit its natural resources. ?Greece is a rich country that ended up being poor because the right decisions were not taken,? said Samaras. ?We never capitalized on the country?s resources but we also made some tragic mistakes, such as the unbelievable process with the [first] memorandum, which we fought from the start because it did not include any growth elements.?

Speaking in Serres later, Samaras promised that he would place greater emphasis on Greece?s struggling agricultural sector.

Samaras attacked the parties to ND?s right, particularly neofascist Chrysi Avgi. ?Those who wear Nazi symbols, those who admire the Nazis, do not have a place among us,? he said. ?They are enemies of our country. Don?t confuse those who love our homeland with those who use hollow patriotism to fish in shallow waters.?

Samaras also refused Friday to take part in a televised leaders? debate despite accusations from PASOK that he was afraid of going head-to-head with Venizelos. ND responded by accusing PASOK of being desperate.

The head of the Communist Party, Aleka Papariga, and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) chief Alexis Tsipras also declined to take part in the debate. Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis and the head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) Giorgos Karatzaferis said they were willing to participate in the event.