Voters in the euro zone’s weakest economy, Greece, will have a chance on Sunday to decide which party is best placed to lead them out of recession. Greece faces a battle royal between parties offering different medicine to help the ailing patient gain strength.
The socialists are slight favourites to return to power after five years in opposition. PASOK leader George Papandreou has championed taxing the rich to help the poor, adding a three billion euro recovery package to boost growth and public revenues. By contrast, the conservative government warns of two years of austerity ahead, and a freeze on public sector wages and jobs. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis faces a tough task on Sunday, with New Democracy six points adrift in the polls. The economy is the vital issue: the next government must deal with Greece’s ballooning budget deficit and pensions shortfall, with Brussels already demanding urgent reforms.