The rumors about postponement of the early elections has been persisting since the last 48 hours. The rumor alerting millions of austerity-hit, debt-ridden and frustrated Greeks waiting to down vote several politicians, had almost a logical basis. While the government had said that the snap polls would be held around the end of April or beginnings of May, no official announcement has been made so far.
Speaking to state broadcaster NET TV on Wednesday morning, government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis dismissed these rumors saying that “There is no change in the elections plans, the legislative work of the government will complete next week” and that the elections will take part in the known weekends.” Kapsis added the elections date will be announced next week. (Something we heard, two weeks ago 🙂 )
April 29th or May 6th 2012 are the most possible dates for the early elections. The Parliament is scheduled to close on April 6th for the Eastern holidays and is not expected to open again before a new government has been elected.
Caretaker government of Lucas Papademos was appointed last November with the duty to lead the country into a new loan agreement and pass through the parliament a series of laws, bills and amendments that will ‘imprison’ Greek citizens for several decades.
Greek voters, who see their incomes permanently on a falling course and are scared to death of the scheduled additional austerity measures. anticipate the elections to send home Ministers and MPs from the two big parties (socialist PASOK, conservative Nea Dimokratia). Recent public opinion surveys show a rise of the left parties, and PASOK-ND getting together no more than 35 percent. A party needs a majority of at least 44% to form a one-party government.
Some “mean” Greeks claim that there won’t be any elections until the surveys show a better rate for PASOK and ND.
Even if the elections date has not been made official, the pre-elections campaign seem to have unofficially started. Coalition government partner Antonis Samaras from ND made some promises like securing low pensions and other nice things. PASOK ministers proceed to measures, like “cleaning the downtown Athens” from illegal immigrants. Other ministers try to defend unions interests and block the opening of professions (taxi, truck drivers), while some even try to pass bill amendments tailored for certain group interests.
As Greece is on tight austerity budget and hiring in the public sector is a No-No from the side of the Troika, trading votes for a work place seems extraordinary difficult. And yet. Greek politicians are experts in promoting ‘services’, one hears here and there about hiring on temporary contracts (OTE, Police).
The best of the pre-elections “promises” I have been hearing since a couple of days is “Development” and that “Minimum wages are not enough to make a country competitive” (FinMin Sachinidis this morning). Oops! I almost forgot the unofficial government slogan “Go to the countryside and become a farmer”.
PS I am afraid there will be no structural change in this country, unless politicians and voters get rid of their ‘clientalism’ mentality.