Greece’s conservative party moved to a leading position ahead of Juneâ€™s elections, according to polls published yesterday. If such a position remains, it raises the chances for the success of a post-election pro-bailout coalition likely committed to keeping the country in the euro zone.
After the May elections left the Greek parliament divided evenly between groups of parties that support and oppose the austerity conditions for the countryâ€™s bailout, the country was forced to call repeat elections for June 17.
According to the surveys, New Democracy and Pasok would jointly hold between 161 to 166 seats in Greece’s 300 seat parliament, up from 149 they jointly took in the May elections. The tight gap separating conservative New Democracy from radical leftist Syriza party now ranges from 1.3 to 5.7 percent. According to the Greek electoral law, the party with the most votes receives 50 bonus seats in parliament, making a first-place finish key in forming any future coalition government.
Syriza, the party that opposes the austerity measures, is led by its charismatic 37-year old leader Alexis Tsipras, and is particularly popular among the young people, who are hit by unemployment. New Democracy, by contrast, is mostly appealing to those over-60s.
The outcome of Greece’s elections will determine the countryâ€™s future inside the euro zone.
Antonis Samaras, the leader of the New Democracy mentioned to the press that Greece should be given more time to comply with the bailout terms to generate about 11.5 billion euros in savings over the next two years. Greece’s bailout deal allows for a possible relaxation of the country’s austerity targets if its recession worsens.
In the meantime, while the euro zone is waiting for the Greek elections, analysts say it is too early to spot any definite trends in the recent survey results.
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