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New Democracy, SYRIZA in Dead Heat

polls showAfter jockeying for position and power among voters, Greece’s ruling coalition party, the New Democracy Conservatives and major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) are tied in a poll that shows nearly two-thirds of Greeks are pessimistic about the country’s future.
The poll by VPRC for Syntakton newspaper showed support for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party at 29.5 percent, the same as for the SYRIZA party led by his antagonist and anti-austerity champion, Alexis Tsipras.
Another survey by Metron Analysis for weekly newspaper Ependytis showed support for New Democracy at 27.8 percent versus SYRIZA’s 28 percent. The conservatives had trailed SYRIZA for months after the June election that Samaras narrowly won, but a January 11 poll by Public Issue showed they had pulled broadly level with the leftist opposition for the first time in months.
It was taken before Parliament voted to begin an investigation into a former PASOK finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, over his handling of a list of Greeks with secret Swiss bank accounts that hasn’t been checked for tax evaders although it’s been in government hands for more than 2 1/2 years. Samaras is ruling with the partnership of PASOK and the tiny Democratic Left.
“The three-party ruling coalition seems to be regaining ground after the Eurogroup’s decision in December secured the disbursement of a bailout tranche,” Ependytis newspaper said. “But it still faces a public opinion majority of 64 percent which feels the country is headed in the wrong direction.” The poll by VPRC put this figure at 67 percent.
After pushing a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike program through Parliament in December, 2012, the government secured the ongoing release of 52.5 billion euros ($69.9 billion) in more rescue loans to stave off bankruptcy and be able to keep paying workers and pensioners, although social unrest continues to mount.
According to both surveys, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party continued to rank third with 10.7 to 12 percent. Support for PASOK and the Democratic Left showed both are out of favor, with the Socialists getting an average of 7.1 percent and the Democratic Left at about 5.35 percent. The poll by Metron Analysis also showed 62 percent of Greeks think the country will manage to avoid bankruptcy.

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