NEWS

ND eyes center and right, seeks to boost low morale

In the final days of election campaigning, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his campaign team are to redouble efforts to boost languishing morale among conservative supporters while also trying to win round undecided voters.

Ahead of his final campaign speech at an indoor arena in Faliro on Friday, Samaras and his team are to appeal to supporters of parties to the right of ND – Independent Greeks and Golden Dawn, asking them to entrust their vote to ND to ensure a leftist government does not come to power.

Efforts have already been made in this direction with Samaras condemning SYRIZA proposals to remove religious icons from schools and public offices. The prime minister met with the outspoken Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki on Wednesday in a bid to underline ND’s strong ties to the Church.

But ND’s campaigners are also targeting a large pool of undecided voters, as well as those expressing their intention to back Potami, PASOK or the party of former Premier George Papandreou, highlighting the risk of Greece being isolated from Europe in the event of a SYRIZA victory.

In a speech in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, Samaras said an ND win was the only way to avert fresh political and financial upheaval.

He appealed to “all Greeks, beyond party affiliations, to people from the moderate center ground, the center left, decent hardworking people who don’t want to see Greece go to pieces.” Citizens cannot afford the luxury of opting for a small party, he said. “One vote could determine whether on Monday a pro-European government will be formed with New Democracy at its core or whether SYRIZA will be left without allies, grappling with its factions.”

Meanwhile foreign officials sent more stern messages. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde ruled out the prospect of a haircut for Greek debt. She added that a Greek euro exit was out of the question, describing such a scenario as “devastating.”