Karamanlis sits high in poll

Six weeks ahead of the European parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is seen as Greece’s most popular party leader and considerably better suited for the job than his leading opponent, according to a poll commissioned by Kathimerini and SKAI radio. But most respondents (54 percent) said they were not interested in the June 13 election. While not investigating voters’ intentions ahead of the European elections, the nationwide survey conducted by VPRC between April 26-28 established that Karamanlis’s conservative New Democracy is less unpopular than the main opposition party, former Foreign Minister George Papandreou’s PASOK. Some 43 percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the government, while a sizable 39 percent said they were not satisfied. On the other hand, only 21 percent voiced satisfaction with PASOK, compared to 64 percent who said they were not satisfied with the party. Karamanlis led the popularity listings among party leaders, at 78 percent. Papandreou came second at 59 percent – nine percent below the VPRC figures for March 2004 – followed by Synaspismos Left Coalition’s Nikos Constantopoulos, at 55 percent, and Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga at 42 percent. The country’s least-liked party leader was ultra conservative Giorgos Karadzaferis of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), of whom 62 percent had a negative opinion – while 24 percent held a positive view. When asked whom they saw as best fitted to govern Greece, 53 percent named Karamanlis and 25 percent Papandreou. Some 11 percent said neither leader was suitable for the job. New Democracy won the March 7 national election with 45.37 percent, over PASOK’s 40.55.

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