The leader of the socialist opposition in Greece has promised to weed out corruption and make citizens believe in the government again, if he wins the snap election to be held on October the 4th.
The PASOK party of George Papandreou had a comfortable lead in the last opinion polls that were allowed to be published before the vote. But the surveys suggest he might not have enough for an outright majority. It was economic and political scandals that caused a drop in popularity for the current government, forcing the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to call the ballot half through his term. The centre-right New Democracy party suffered from its handling of the financial crisis, wildfires, and measures seen as benefitting the rich. The Greek economy is a mess. The EU Commission reckons it will contract by up to 1.7 per cent this year. Its budget deficit is approaching twice the EU limit. It is borrowing more than it earns. And unemployment is running at 15.5 per cent. Many Greeks have expressed fatigue with both parties, saying the two are not that different and neither can improve the country’s ailing health and education systems nor boost their standard of living.