OPINION

Frustrated masses look to the left

The Public Issue survey published on Friday depicts in numbers what everyone who lives in this troubled country already knew: PASOK, a member of the interim government, and its leader George Papandreou are both headed for the dustbin of history. The Socialist party?s popularity has dropped to levels unseen since 1974.

If voters were to express that disillusionment toward PASOK at the ballot box, then two in three Socialist deputies would see their political careers come to an end. The largest solid group, according to the Public Issue poll, is made up of those who say they will abstain from the vote and the so-called protest voters: Together they comprise one in three of those questioned.

This majority group, one assumes, is the most frustrated section of society, people who have lost all hope of seeing a new political system.

Frustration however is also reflected in other figures: Few people believe that interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos can put the country?s economy on a healthier track; Greeks are divided over the prospect of early national elections (one in two is against the idea of holding snap polls); and, finally, the high level of disappointment regarding the new administration?s performance (eight in 10 say they are not happy with it).

But the Public Issue survey shows two more things that are worth considering: first, the explosive surge in the popularity of parties on the left of the political spectrum, which together garner more than 40 percent; a great deal of them, of course, are protest voters. But although this figure would likely be much smaller in the event of an actual election, it still indicates a growing radicalization among a considerable segment of the population.

Second, the poll points to a rise in Euroskepticism. The mood has clearly changed following the developments in Cannes. Overall, Greeks appear tired, disillusioned and negative toward the so-called memorandum, angry at PASOK, and skeptical toward the political system and its various manifestations.

Few seem to believe that the country can halt the fall, let alone achieve a reboot with the defeated and discredited Greek politicians and the artificial balance of power in the current Parliament.

In light of all this, it would be interesting to see the results of a survey on Greek people?s priorities and ideological orientation in this highly volatile environment.