NEWS

Poll highlights public discontent

Seven in 10 Greeks are dissatisfied with their lives and feel let down by the country’s two main political parties while a third would not vote for any of the five parties in Greece’s Parliament, a new poll carried out on behalf of Kathimerini has found. According to the survey carried by polling firm Public Issue on a sample of 1,006 citizens in the first week of July, 65 percent of respondents said they trusted neither ruling PASOK nor the main conservative opposition New Democracy to run the country. Another 25 percent said they think PASOK is the best party to lead the country while only 4 percent said they would want ND in power. Still, eight out of 10 respondents said they were unhappy with the work of the PASOK administration, which has focused on pushing through a raft of austerity measures since it came to power last October. Nine out of 10 said they were unhappy with ND, which has been riven with internal disputes since last November when Antonis Samaras was elected party leader. A third of respondents said they would prefer a coalition government while another 17 percent wants a government representing all the parties in Parliament. As regards the popularity of political leaders, Prime Minister George Papandreou has seen his support decline by three percentage points, to 40 percent, while Antonis Samaras has dropped 4 percentage points to 19 percent. A third of respondents said they would want neither of the two in the role of premier. In one of the most shocking findings, a third (35.5 percent) of the poll’s respondents said that if elections were held today, they would either boycott the vote or cast a blank ballot. In a related development, several Cabinet members sought to douse speculation about early elections being called this fall after Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis suggested the government should seek a new mandate. «Parliamentary elections are not on the government’s agenda,» said Agricultural Development and Food Minister Katerina Batzeli. Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas also told reporters that early polls were out of the question.