ND given 13-point percentage point lead over SYRIZA; govt sources angrily respond

Saturday, 21 April 2018 12:24
UPD:14:54
REUTERS/YANNIS BEHRAKIS
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Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party's lead over ruling SYRIZA in the latest opinion poll, published on Saturday, reaches 13 percentage points, a widening figure even among the last batch of polls by mainstream media.

The poll was carried out by the Metron Analysis firm, while commissioned and published in the Athens daily "Ta Nea", which after it republication has been highly critical of the leftist-rightist coalition government.

Center-right ND is given 36.3 percent of respondents' preference to 23.3 percent for the previously radical left SYRIZA.

A coalesced grouping of socialist, centrist and center-left groupings, Kinima Allaghis, is a distant third, with 9 percent, followed by ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) and the Communist Party, 7.1 and 6.7 percent, respectively.

A minor surprise, compared with other recent polls, is an over 3-percent showing for the Union of Centrists, at 3.3 percent.

Three percent in a general election, calculated upon valid votes, is the threshold needed to enter Greece's parliament.

Asked which party they believe will come in first in the next election, regardless of their  preferences, 64 percent of respondents said ND, to only 19 percent for SYRIZA.

The publication of the results in "Ta Nea" generated an unprecedented attack by what were identified as "government sources" on Saturday.

"We were waiting for something more fresh from the newspapers of the under-indictment for narcotics smuggling Mr. Marinakis, so that Kyriakos Mitsotakis can be rescued from his internal party problems," was the "spin" circulated on Saturday morning.

The caustic reaction refers to the majority shareholder of the DOL media group, which publishes Ta Nea, Vangelis Marinakis.

Marinakis is a well-known shipowner and shipping magnate who owns the popular Olympiacos Piraeus FC club as well as iconic Nottingham Forest FC in England.

He was recently indicted on charges related to a two-ton heroin haul, discovered on a small motorship docked off the greater Athens coast, several years ago, with a trial pending.

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