Balkans | As Greece’s general election approaches, parties promise change for voters

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Balkans |  As Greece’s general election approaches, parties promise change for voters

While it is expected that no party will take power alone in the general elections scheduled for May 21 in Greece, politicians continue to tell voters their promises.

In opinion polls, the ruling New Democracy party ranks first, the main opposition party Syriza second, and the opposition PASOK-KENAL coalition third.

The fact that the parties have the same ranking in opinion polls as the results of previous general elections reduces the excitement of the election. Therefore, interest in the general election is expected to remain low. Turnout in the 2019 general election, which transferred power from Syriza to New Democracy, was 57.7 percent.

Members of the five parties that have groups in Parliament told Anadolu Agency (AA) the atmosphere and expectations before the elections.

Syriza is looking for a second chance

During Greece’s economic crisis since 2009, Syriza, which received public support with anti-note policies and had to sign a memorandum agreement with the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund when it came to power, said voters were “sliding from the left to the center” and following Similar policies with other major parties are under criticism.

The party wants a second chance from voters to implement its program, which it could not implement while in power during the crisis.

Noting that they have to sign the memorandum, Sotiris Alexio, secretary of the youth branch of Syriza, indicated that this time Syriza would like to implement a pro-people program that will compensate for the salary cuts and income inequality caused by the memorandum.

Pointing out that the policies implemented across Europe in the past 10 years have damaged people’s trust in politics, Alexio said: “We wish people would go to the polls with hope and believe that our lives can change with politics. After all, if not goes to the ballot box, someone else might go to the ballot box instead, and it’s not in his interest.” He said.

“We invite young people to think well and go and vote,” Alexio said. He called.

“PASOK has been at the forefront in all the difficult times the country is going through”

The centre-left PASOK, one of the parties that have been in the seat of power for decades in the country, decided to join the elections as the PASOK-KINAL coalition by merging with another left-wing party.

Yiannis Papaiorgopoulos, advisor to the PASOK political council, said, “The PASOK party has been at the forefront in all the difficult times in the country, even during the memorandum period. He sacrificed the party and the people for the country, to keep the country in Europe, in the eurozone.” He made his comment.

Papaiorgopoulos emphasized that strengthening the rule of law and ensuring prosperity in the economy are the two most fundamental issues in the country.

Mera25 promises change

Mira 25 party, founded by Yanis Varoufakis, who was Minister of Finance alongside then-Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the first term of Syriza’s rule, but left the party after Syriza signed the memorandum, and is a party affiliated with Democracy for Democracy. The European Movement in Europe (DiEM25) has been in charge of the party for 40 years, and Jochen Schulte, a member of German descent living in Greece, noted that his party promised radical change.

PASOK and New Democracy have a policy that does not take into account the needs of the people in Greece, Schulte said, “There is a program in Greece that is suffocating the economy. After 2008, no government has made decisions in the interest of the people. We want to change that.” He said.

According to KKE, the two major parties are the same.

Although it is seen as one of the parties unlikely to come to power, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), one of the most deeply rooted parties in Greece, ranks fourth in opinion polls.

Effie Zaveto, who started working at KKE from youth branches, spoke as follows about the perception that the electoral race is between New Democracy and SYRIZA:

There is significant polarization between New Democracy and Syriza in the pre-election atmosphere. There was such discrimination in the past, but now it is much sharper. As a result, we mostly see the opposition between these two parties on TV and radio. They are actually not contradictory because their basic principles and strategies are the same. The difference is very small.”

The government wants an opportunity to make up for its shortcomings.

The center-right New Democracy, one of the parties that has been in power for decades, like PASOK, has been in power alone for 4 years with 39.85 percent of the vote in the 2019 elections.

While there were many issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, the ensuing energy crisis, and the growing tension with Turkey during the New Democracy rule, Aliki Katuka, one of the party’s election campaign representatives, said, “Our prime minister has overcome all of these things.” With great effort. For the current four-year period, its goal is to focus on low-income retirees.” He said.

Opinion polls in Greece indicate a coalition government, but if a coalition cannot be formed after the election results, people are expected to go to the polls again.


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