ND poll lead under 3 pct

Aides of PASOK leader George Papandreou and New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis will meet today to hammer out procedures for a series of debates between the two protagonists of the March 7 elections. Yesterday, Papandreou addressed a mass rally in the Cretan city of Iraklion, a PASOK stronghold, and was joined by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson in a show of support. Karamanlis had to postpone his speech to small and medium-sized company owners in an Athens hotel when a television spotlight too close to a fire sensor set off the sprinkler system, drenching the hall. Two new polls, conducted by ballot from Feb. 9-16, found ND’s lead over PASOK was narrowing. Metron Analysis (for Antenna TV) said PASOK would get 36.3 percent if elections were held today and ND 39 percent, a 2.7 percent gap down from 3.7 percent in early February. Alco (for Alter TV) gave ND 40.8 percent and PASOK 37.9 percent, a lead of 2.9 percent.