As Greece’s election draws closer, the New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras remained behind in most opinion polls. With an economy in the doldrums, soaring unemployment and widespread wage-cuts many people will cast their vote out of sheer frustration.
Political analyst Andreas Drymiotis explained: “This is a crucial election, but I feel that the people will vote rather with anger than with logic. And this would be the result of the nearly five years of austerity they have lived through.”
Meanwhile Greece’s leftist Syriza party held onto its opinion poll lead right up till the end of the campaign period. It wants to scrap austerity measures outright and secure a debt write-off after this weekend’s elections.
If, as polls predict, Syriza win, it would need around 40 percent of the vote for an overall majority.
Without it, they would need to look for coalition partners.
The anti-bailout Independent Greeks party has emerged as a potential candidate.
Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, a former deputy shipping minister who broke away from Samaras in 2012, says the bailout by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, has reduced Greece to the status of a debt colony.
“We will never go as beggars on our knees to [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, we will go standing tall as Greeks do. The Greek people are fighting united to restore national sovereignty and dignity,” he said in Friday’s campaign speech.
The Independent Greeks differ from Syriza on many traditionally conservative issues, pledging to crack down on illegal immigration and defend the close links between the Orthodox Church and the state. But in other ways the party could be as comfortable a fit as To Potami, the untested new centrist party often seen as Syriza’s most likely ally.