Couch wars break out as families row over politics

Election Sunday ended in a «couch war» for many households around the country, as ideological or party differences split family members between themselves. Father and son voted for PASOK, while the mother and second son cast their ballots in favor of New Democracy. A classic scene that took place in many homes throughout Greece is described in the following statement by Vassilis Panayiotopoulos, a merchant who votes for PASOK as a matter of course: «I holed up in the kitchen because the two boys nearly got into a fight and my wife really got on my nerves.» During these elections his wife had a «change of faith» and, while chastising the former government, she announced to her family that this year she would «vote for the Right,» sparking off reactions. «We didn’t even go to the polling station together,» says Marilena Panayiotopoulou. An argument also arose between the family’s two sons, Constantinos and Socrates. Constantinos, 24, had made up his mind a while back to side with his father and vote for PASOK, while Socrates, 26, decided to opt for New Democracy, like his mother. The result? The two almost came to blows on election day. Tempers were running high on Sunday evening in another household as well, at the home of the Dragopoulos family, where an argument invariably accompanies every election. «Every time there are elections, there is a lot of tension between us because we are both passionate about our politics,» admits housewife Vasso Dragopoulou. Her husband, Panayiotis Dragopoulos is a 45-year-old private employee who has always voted for ND, while his wife looks on happily at the ground the Communist Party (KKE) has gained. «Even when we were young, we were a topic of conversation among our friends because our ideological backgrounds are diametrically opposed,» remembers Panayiotis Dragopoulos. «On election night, we slept in separate rooms because were both pretty fed up with one another.» One 30-year-old teacher even went so far as to threaten his fiancee with canceling their wedding if she did not vote for PASOK. «Nikos was in a complete state and said that he could not spend the rest of his life with someone who would vote for Karamanlis,» says 28-year-old Maria, now laughing about the whole affair. «The next day, of course, he had calmed down and realized that it was not such a big deal if we disagreed in our politics,» added the young accountant. It appears, therefore, that the young couple will be joining in holy matrimony and they will just agree to disagree on matters of politics.

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