Conflicting views on premier-to-be

It seems a difficult choice. Costas Simitis is the ideal leader for Greece. But opposition chief Costas Karamanlis is best suited to be the country’s next prime minister. And yet, Foreign Minister George Papandreou would really be better suited to the job than the conservative leader, all according to a confusing poll in yesterday’s Sunday Eleftherotypia. The phone survey conducted by Focus in mainland Greece and on Crete found that 33.7 percent of respondents considered that the prime minister «concentrates most of an ideal leader’s traits.» Karamanlis came third with 23.6 percent. The second most popular response (28.7 percent) was «none of the above,» referring to the leaders of Greece’s six biggest political parties. Karamanlis, however, triumphed in «who would be best for Greece’s next prime minister» category, where he led the pack at 22.4 percent; Simitis got 20.5 percent. But asked to rate politicians out of 10 on their suitability for the prime ministerial succession, people gave best marks to Papandreou (6.7). Karamanlis came second at 6.4, and Simitis got 6.2 – slightly less than Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, leader of the Movement of Free Citizens. And 64.7 percent said they preferred coalitions to single-party governments, while 82.2 percent opined that the political system is «undergoing a crisis.» People polled were also quizzed on the motives behind their electoral behavior. Some 70.3 percent said they put their personal interests first. The second concern was «ideological principles,» followed by «the good of the country.»

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