NEWS

ND ratings boosted in wake of reshuffle

The Cabinet reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last week appears to have made a positive impression on a significant proportion of the public, according to a poll, the results of which were published in yesterday’s Kathimerini. Four out of 10 respondents told pollsters Public Issue that they were satisfied with Karamanlis’s reshuffle. Nevertheless, 23 percent claimed to be unimpressed with the changes and 46 percent said they believed that the new administration was no better equipped than the previous one to solve the country’s problems. Most respondents (74 percent) appeared to back the premier’s decision to oust Giorgos Alogoskoufis as economy minister and 77 percent agreed with his decision to remove former deputy foreign minister, Petros Doukas, allegedly linked to the Vatopedi land exchange scandal. As for the prospects of Karamanlis himself, half of respondents said they believed that the reshuffle had strengthened his position. Still, clearly mindful of a series of corruption scandals and December’s unprecedented riots in Athens, more than six in 10 Greeks said the government would probably be forced to conduct early elections. Another poll, carried out by MRB and published in yesterday’s Eleftheros Typos, showed that ruling New Democracy has cut the lead of main opposition PASOK to around 3 percentage points, from 5 percentage points in December. Asked how they would vote if elections were held now, 32.3 percent of respondents said they would support PASOK, compared to 29.3 for ND. Last week’s reshuffle was cited as the main reason for the improvement in the government’s waning ratings.