ND in pursuit of floating voters

New Democracy is stepping up its appeals to conservative supporters to back the party in the October 4 elections, as it also intensifies its attacks on PASOK in a bid to overturn the Socialists’ lead in the opinion polls. The government decided yesterday to target the main opposition over a pamphlet it issued describing what measures PASOK would take in government to protect bank customers who default on their loans. ND campaign spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said that the measures described by PASOK in the literature had already been adopted by the government and accused the Socialists of trying to deceive voters. PASOK said that Koumoutsakos was referring to a pamphlet that had been printed last year. ND sources said that the government plans to try to highlight what it believes are the weaknesses in PASOK’s economic policy in a bid to create suspicion in voters’ minds about what direction the center-left party will take if it is voted into power. The conservatives will follow this up with constant appeals to their traditional supporters not to switch their allegiances to PASOK or the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS). Defense Minister Evangelos Mei-marakis suggested in a radio interview yesterday that ND supporters could make their displeasure felt by not voting for particular candidates but pleaded with them not to turn their backs on the party as a whole. The government also warned journalists and opposition politicians to stop alluding to the results of new opinion polls. The publication of surveys is forbidden in the last two weeks of the campaign and government sources said prosecutors would be called in if people leaked the results of private opinion polls being conducted on behalf of political parties.