NEWS

Poll restores marginal edge to PASOK

While the vast majority of the population wants religious faith to be recorded on state identity cards, over 50 percent agrees with President Costis Stephanopoulos that there is no ground for a referendum on the matter, as the Church of Greece wants, according to a poll published yesterday. The nationwide survey, carried out by Metron Analysis for Flash radio between August 30 and September 1, also had good news for the ruling socialists, whose popularity rose slightly compared to the dire figures of the early summer. Some 23.1 percent of the 1,004 people polled expressed satisfaction with the government, which is an improvement over the 19.3 percent figure of May. The ruling socialists even edged marginally above opposition New Democracy, whose corresponding figure dipped from 23.3 percent in May to 19.4 percent. And Prime Minister Costas Simitis inched slightly higher than opposition leader Costas Karamanlis, with 25.6 percent of respondents naming the PM as best suited among Greece’s party leaders to govern the country. Some 23.5 percent chose the conservative leader. On the ID question, 52.1 percent agreed with Stephanopoulos telling Archbishop Christodoulos last Wednesday that he had no business to call for a referendum, while 29.6 percent disagreed. But 50.1 percent said they wanted mandatory mention of religious belief on ID cards, while 23.4 percent said it should be optional – as the Church of Greece wants.