Greek poll shows boost for anti-bailout leftists

Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:56am GMT
 

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's main opposition Syriza and the far-right Golden Dawn parties are surging in popularity among voters angry at a new wave of wage and pension cuts demanded by foreign lenders, a poll showed on Friday.

If elections were held today, Syriza would win with 30.5 percent of the vote compared with 27 percent for New Democracy, which leads the three-party coalition backing Greece's foreign bailout, pollster VPRC said in a survey for the "Ellada Avrio" newspaper.

Greeks' frustration with their political leaders has grown as the coalition prepares to push through the new round of austerity measures to appease lenders and secure more bailout aid and keep the country afloat.

Almost nine in ten Greeks were dissatisfied with their government and 81 percent believed the country was on the wrong track. The share of undecided voters stood at 60 percent, the poll said.

Backing for the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn, which has been linked to a rise in attacks against migrants in recent months, stood at 14 percent, double their take in June elections that gave the party a foothold in parliament. That would make the group the country's third largest party.

The party's rabidly anti-immigrant message has stuck a chord with many voters as EU/IMF imposed austerity propels unemployment levels to a record 25 percent.

Golden Dawn denies it is neo-Nazi but bears a Swastika-like emblem and its supporters have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes. The party's leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, has denied the Holocaust occurred while one lawmaker, Eleni Zaroulia, called immigrants "sub-humans" in parliament on Thursday.

Backing for the government's two junior coalition partners, the Socialist PASOK and the Democratic Left, stood at 5.5 percent each, well below their results in the June election when they took 12.3 percent and 6.3 percent of the vote respectively.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou)

Head of opposition radical left SYRIZA party Alexis Tsipras addresses parliamentarians during a session at the parliament in Athens July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis
 
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