Parliament shut down but rows rage

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and PASOK leader George Papandreou became embroiled in a war of words over the weekend, partly prompted by the sudden closure of Parliament late on Friday, as a new poll predicted that the Socialists is likely to easily win next month’s Euro election. The Public Issue survey indicated that PASOK would garner 28 percent of the vote and New Democracy 23.5 with the other three parliamentary parties each collecting 5.5 percent. Anything more than a 3-4 percent win for PASOK would be considered a damaging blow to the conservative government. However, a factor that could yet affect the final outcome is the number of voters who say they are still undecided. According to the poll, 8.5 percent of more than the 1,000 people questioned have not decided who they will get their vote. Another 6 percent said they will not vote and 7.5 percent said they will cast blank ballots. Karamanlis and Papandreou toured parts of the country to make pre-election addresses over the weekend and both leaders were in an aggressive mood. The PASOK chief slammed the government over its decision to end the parliamentary term late on Friday as an attempt to cover up scandals. «The first victim of the government’s stance is the country,» he said, encouraging voters to stop the decline by voting for PASOK in the European Parliamentary elections on June 7. «This government has absolutely nothing to hide; it has nothing to cover up,» said Karamanlis. «The government wants to approach the Euro elections on political terms; it wants a calm political climate.»

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