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(03/03/08) -

ND Leads, Leftist Coalition Surges in Greece

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Greece’s governing New Democracy (ND) party is barely ahead in the European country, according to a poll by MARC published in Ethnos. 31 per cent of respondents would vote for the ND in the next general election, down 2.2 points since December.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Greece’s governing New Democracy (ND) party is barely ahead in the European country, according to a poll by MARC published in Ethnos. 31 per cent of respondents would vote for the ND in the next general election, down 2.2 points since December.

The opposition Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) is a close second with 28.3 per cent, followed by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYR) with 16.2 per cent—up 9.4 points in three months—the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 7.1 per cent, and the People’s Orthodox Alarm (LAOS) with 3.8 per cent.

In the March 2004 election, Kostas Karamanlis led the ND to victory, securing 165 seats in the Greek Parliament. PASOK had administered the government since January 1996. Current PASOK leader George Papandreou served as foreign minister under Kostas Simitis.

Greek voters renewed their Parliament in September 2007. Final results gave Karamanlis a second term in office, with 41.84 cent of the vote and 152 seats in the 300-member legislature. PASOK finished second, with 38.10 per cent and 102 lawmakers. In November, Papandreou defeated Evangelos Venizelos and Kostas Skandalidis in a special PASOK leadership ballot.

Greece has had a constant rift with Macedonia over its name. The Greek government has insisted that Macedonia is properly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in international organizations. However, more than two-thirds of United Nations (UN) member states—including the United States—have recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name: Republic of Macedonia. Greece has also expressed concerns over future territorial claims to one of its provinces, which is also known as Macedonia.

On Feb. 22, Karamanlis said Greece would veto Macedonia’s invitation to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) this year if the two countries fail to reach a compromise on the country’s name, saying, "Without a mutually acceptable solution, that country won’t be invited to join the alliance."

Polling Data

What party would you support in Greece’s next general election?

 

Feb. 2008

Dec. 2007

Oct. 2007

New Democracy (ND)

31.0%

33.2%

35.5%

Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK)

28.3%

30.1%

32.7%

Coalition of the Radical Left (SYR)

16.2%

6.8%

4.1%

Communist Party of Greece (KKE)

7.1%

8.2%

7.0%

People’s Orthodox Alarm (LAOS)

3.8%

3.7%

2.4%

Source: MARC / Ethnos
Methodology: Interviews with 1,019 Greek adults, conducted from Feb. 14 to Feb. 20, 2008. No margin of error was provided.