ELSTAT posts record unemployment rate as poll gives SYRIZA edge over New Democracy

Greece’s jobless rate rose to a record 27.9 percent in June from 27.6 percent in May, according to data from the country’s statistics service ELSTAT made public on Thursday.

The figure was more than double the eurozone’s average of 12.1 percent in July.

Even worse, 58.8 per cent of people under age 25 are out of work, ELSTAT said.

The number of unemployed increased by 174,709 persons compared with June 2012 and by 20,254 persons compared with May 2013, data showed. The jobless total stood at just over 1.4 million.

Meanwhile, a survey broadcast on Skai television late Wednesday, showed leftist SYRIZA opposition would win 29 percent of the vote if national elections were held now.

The poll, conducted by Public Issue, put the pro-bailout conservative New Democracy party in second place with 28 percent of the vote. A previous VPRC forecast in July showed the conservative party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in the lead, with 28.5 percent, and SYRIZA of Alexis Tsipras second with 27.5 percent.

Golden Dawn was up 2 percent from July with 13 percent, while coalition partner PASOK was slightly down at 7 percent. The survey put support for the Communist Party (KKE) at 6.5 percent while Independent Greeks, a right-wing anti-bailout party, polled at 5.5 percent.

Former coalition partner Democratic Left saw its support drop to 2.5 percent, thus slipping below the 3 percent threshold for entering Parliament.

The Public Issue survey showed Samaras is still considered the most suitable Prime Minister, receiving 35 percent over SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras’s 31 percent.

The majority of respondents (60 percent) said there was no need for premature elections. A similar percent (57 percent) however said that a snap poll will not be avoided.

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