OPINION

Pre-election questions

What would the result of next month’s European Parliament elections have to be for it to be considered a success by PASOK and for an underlying trend of challenging party leader George Papandreou to be checked? This is the major preoccupation of the main opposition party six weeks before the polls, while the solutions being proposed by Papandreou’s entourage and critics are diametrically opposed. Those close to PASOK’s new chief are maintaining that even if New Democracy (ND) maintains or increases the five-percentage-point lead which it staked in the March general elections, the result will not be particularly unfavorable for PASOK. Indeed, they argue that as the Euro elections are taking place so soon after national elections, the usual protest vote against the government will not apply, as the new ND regime has only recently acquired its public mandate and is trying to extend its «honeymoon period.» Meanwhile, PASOK dissidents warn that if their party loses the Euro elections with the same difference as before, this would be a disaster. The arguments about honeymoon periods being extended and so on have been blown out of proportion due to PASOK’s sluggish opposition, they claim. They add that the dissolution of the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) should work in their party’s favor and that an expected boost to right-wing LAOS should take votes away from ND.