Survey shows gov’t lead shrinks

One of the ruling conservative party’s senior political figures, Constantine Mitsotakis, called on the government yesterday to push ahead with a Cabinet reshuffle as the results of a new poll indicate that New Democracy’s popularity is waning. Mitsotakis, who was Greece’s prime minister between 1990 and 1993, said in an interview published in Sunday’s Kathimerini that a second reshuffle would also put an end to continual speculation of early elections being held. «I believe that in every four-year term a government needs a second reshuffle a year before its term ends in order to help bring in new blood,» said Mitsotakis, who is currently honorary president of the party. «A shakeup at this point would, of course, do no harm,» he added. The government’s current term in office ends in March of next year but Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has so far said he has no intention of calling early elections. Karamanlis proceeded with a Cabinet reshuffle in February last year. The latest poll results released yesterday showed that the government’s 3.5 percent lead over PASOK last month has narrowed to 3 percent. The poll, commissioned by Skai radio and television, found that 42.5 percent of respondents said they would vote for New Democracy in the next elections, while 39.5 percent replied they would choose PASOK. The poll also showed that 46 percent see Karamanlis as the most suitable prime minister versus a 49 percent figure last month.