Greece: last official polls, battle between New Democracy and Syriza

Result uncertain ahead of vote, euro exit fears increasing

01 June, 18:48

Coalition of the Radical Left Leader Alexis Tsipras presents his party's programme in Athens Coalition of the Radical Left Leader Alexis Tsipras presents his party's programme in Athens

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, JUNE 1 - Two weeks before the elections in Greece of June 17, the outcome could not be more uncertain. The latest polls released today give first place to New Democracy (centre-right and pro-memorandum party led by Antonis Samaras) or the party's direct opponent, Syriza (far-left party, strongly opposed to the agreements closed by Greece with its international creditors, led by Alexis Tsipras). Fear is spreading of the country leaving the euro if Syriza wins the election. Alexis Tsipras, has officially presented his party's programme in Athens, pledging a clampdown on tax evasion, and annulment of the Memorandum and its accompanying application laws, to be replaced by a National Recovery Plan for economic and social development, the productive restructuring of the country and a just fiscal streamlining. Also in the plan, the nationalization of Greek banks, many of which were just recapitalized. In order to save the Memorandum, press sources report, former Premier Lucas Papademos - after the inconclusive elections held on May 6 - has asked European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to take a clear stance regarding Greece's position in the eurozone. Barroso responded immediately: ''If a member of the club fails to obey the rules,'' he pointed out, ''it is better that this member leaves the club." The four polls carried out in the past days show that only two parties are fighting for victory: Syriza is rising in the polls, while New Democracy is struggling to get the support of moderate voters. According to the survey carried out by Public Issue for the newspaper Kathimerini, Syriza is leading with 31.5%, followed by New Democracy with 25.5% of preferences. But another poll, carried out by the firm Marc for private television station Alpha, gives New Democracy 28.8% and Syriza 27% of preferences.

Analysts agree that these figures are too far apart to be reliable. The same polls do agree however that Pasok is falling rapidly, with people who used to vote for the party now shifting further to the left, to Syriza, leaving the socialist party of former Premier Giorgio Papandreou behind. The polls also predict that the smaller parties, the Communist Party of Greece, the Democratic Left, Independent Greeks and Chrysi Avgi, will all take a few seats in Parliament. According to observers, the results of the upcoming ballot could change Greece's political stage drastically. The Communist Party (KKE) may choose a new leadership if the party continues to lose votes, as the polls expect. The same is true for New Democracy in case the party loses its first position, or Pasok if it falls below the result of May 6 (13.18%). (ANSAmed).

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