NEWS

Faith in parties desperately low

Half of Greeks believe that neither a New Democracy nor a PASOK government are best suited to deal with the country’s problems, according to a new poll for Kathimerini. In an indication of the lack of faith in Greece’s two main parties, the Public Issue poll suggested that 24 percent of voters believe that a PASOK administration would do a better job than ND, while 22 percent think it would be best to stick with the conservatives. However, 49 percent of respondents said that neither party would be able to tackle the issues troubling Greeks. The general dissatisfaction with the course of events appeared to be backed up by the fact that 79 percent of those questioned said that the country is going in the wrong direction. Only 13 percent are satisfied. The poll, conducted on a sample of 1,020 people, indicates PASOK would win an election with 38.5 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for ND. The margin between the two has shrunk by 0.5 percent since last month and leaves PASOK 10 MPs short of a clear majority. A coalition between PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is the most popular option if there is a hung parliament. It has the support of 23 percent of respondents. Six in 10 Greeks believe there will be snap elections. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis steered well clear of election talk on Saturday when he visited Lamia in central Greece. Instead, he focused attention on handling the economic crisis, calling it a «national matter.» However, speaking in Kalamata yesterday PASOK leader George Papandreou repeated calls for elections as soon as possible and said the government had spurned an opportunity for consensus on the economy. «They did not even ask our opinion on the Stability and Growth Program before submitting it to the EU and now they ask us for consensus,» he told PASOK supporters. «Do they want it so they can continue their catastrophic work?»