The roller coaster ride of opinion polls has put the major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) back on top again, if only narrowly, by a margin of 29.5-to-28.5 percent over the ruling New Democracy (ND) Conservatives.
And for the first time, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who is vehemently against austerity measures and bailouts keeping the country’s economy alive, has overtaken the ND leader, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in popularity, 44-43 percent.
That came as more Greeks said they have a negative view of using the euro as a currency, although amaras said bailout deals he has secured with harsh austerityi measures has prevented the country being forced out of the Eurozone. Only 59 percent of Greeks back the euro, compared to 70 percent in February, according to a survey carried out for SKAI TV and the newspaper Kathimerini.
That matched up with 60 percent who felt the government should continue talks with its international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) to keep rescue monies coming.
Backing for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn fell 1.5 percent to 10 percent but it still ranked third, followed by the Independent Greeks at 8 percent and the PASOK Socialists, one of the ND’s leader Samaras’ coalition partners, at only 7.5 percent. SYRIZA’s popularity rose 4 percent in one month although Tsipras has been mostly dormant and Samaras has been aggressively seeking foreign investors and working to right the country’s debt-crushed economy.
At the first meeting of PASOK’s new central political committee on March 14, party leader Evangelos Venizelos suffered a setback during the vote to elect the 13 members of the party’s new political council as three of his choices failed to gather enough support. Nikos Androulakis was elected secretary.