New Democracy looking to attract SYRIZA doubters

New Democracy is expected to focus during the last week of the campaign on the potential of a SYRIZA victory in the January 25 elections leading to the efforts of the last few years going up in smoke.

Sources told Kathimerini that the conservatives still believe they can gain votes, particularly from Greeks intending to back moderate parties such as To Potami or PASOK, by highlighting the dangers that a SYRIZA win could pose.

One of the ways that New Democracy is doing this is by running TV and web spots focusing on the inconsistent or outlandish statements made by some SYRIZA candidates. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has also been concentrating in his public comments on what he claims to be the threat from SYRIZA.

“SYRIZA’s policies will obliterate the middle class,” he said in an interview with Ta Nea on Saturday. The premier pledged a gradual cut in taxes, including a reduction in the corporate rate from 25 percent to 15 percent.

“We are taking it step by step, without slipping back into public deficits again,” said Samaras. “Whoever tries to do this in one go without stopping to take stock will create deficits and will end up having to impose higher taxes.”

Sources also said that Samaras will focus mostly on Attica in the final stages of the campaign after having toured much of Greece during the previous days. New Democracy believes that there are votes to be won in the country’s most populous voting district, Athens B, as well as in Piraeus B.

The prime minister is due to give a number of interviews to TV channels and newspapers this week. He is expected to hold a rally in Thessaloniki on Wednesday before returning to Athens for his final public appearance before the elections.

Writing in Sunday’s Kathimerini, Samaras dismissed SYRIZA’s demands that the eurozone write down some of Greece’s debt and argued that a lengthening of maturities and and interest rate reduction would suffice.

“We will achieve this based on the [Eurogroup] agreement of November 2012, without clashing with anyone,” wrote the premier. “The only thing we need to do is banish the political uncertainty that has spooked the markets over the last few months. SYRIZA is prolonging this uncertainty.”