NEWS

PASOK resorts to desperate measures in the final straight

PASOK has been trying to create a sense of optimism the last few days before ballots are cast in general elections in an attempt to salvage what it can ahead of imminent defeat. And it is using all possible means to achieve this, mixing half-truths with lies, always faithful to its tradition of striving for the best public relations success. Even though party officials are aware that so-called «secret» polls reveal a wide divide in percentage points between the two main parties that is virtually impossible to narrow at this stage, they propagate the myth that the gap is closing. And this despite the fact that analysts give the impression that the difference is fixed, and that there is no breach in the electorate that PASOK can exploit to its benefit. Meanwhile, the party has decided to offer piecemeal handouts at the last minute – a move that has provoked objections from its own middle-ranking cadres who charge that the benefits should have been offered earlier for them to be credible. Further, PASOK officials are claiming that extreme right-wing parties have received a strong boost at the expense of opposition New Democracy, while distorting statements by ND officials in an attempt to discredit the party. Even European-minded Anna Diamantopoulou did not hesitate to get involved in the mud-slinging – for the benefit of her party and for democracy, of course. The desperate measures being resorted to by Papandreou and his aides can be explained, however, as the party is fully aware of which way things are going. At present, ND appears to be on a course toward victory, and so any undecided voters are turning toward the most likely victor in Sunday’s elections. This development – along with the large proportion of former PASOK supporters who have shifted their allegiance to ND, and the migration of other dissatisfied PASOK voters to the Left – has helped widen the gap between the two main parties. And it is precisely this trend that Papandreou’s team is attempting to curb. After all, the election results will also determine the immediate future of PASOK’s new leader, who will have to explain the many significant mistakes he made over the course of the pre-electoral period.