Greek Elections June 17 Live at Greek Left Review


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SYRIZA leads in final Greek poll: Tsipras firm on rejecting bailout

originally posted at

A final poll before the Greek election on June 16 has the radical left SYRIZA in front of the pack. The poll came out earlier in the month. Greek law bans the publication of any new polls in the 2 weeks before elections.

The Public Issue poll for the Kathimerini newspaper places SYRIZA at 31.5, New Democracy at 26.5 and PASOK at 13.5. This is in-line with other polling. Recent Greek polls have been showing SYRIZA’ numbers between 25 and 31.5.

In other results – the poll placed Democratic Left at 7.5, Independent Greeks 5.5 and the Communist Party (KKE) at 5.5. The far-right Golden Dawn dropped to 4.5.

Golden Dawn spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, added to his party’s extremist image with a violent outburst on live TV last week. After taking exception to comments by other guests Kasidiaris threw a glass of water in the face of Syriza member Rena Dorou and viciously slapped Communist Party member Liana Kanelli.

Syriza said the attack showed “the real face of this criminal organization [Golden Dawn].”

SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, has pledged to reject the ‘catastrophic’ bailout conditions with the EU and the IMF. He said in its place he will implement “a national reconstruction program.” SYRIZA has signaled that it will nationalize the banks and put the brakes on privatization.

At a time of great challenges for Greece, Tsipras has a positive message: “We speak the language of hope where others speak the language of fear.” His message is getting through as he travels across Greece rallying support. Tellingly trade union leaders who formerly supported Pasok have switched their allegiance to SYRIZA.

Greece has been forced to the wall by the demands of the Troika – the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Harsh criticism coming from IMF boss, Christine Lagrade, has only served to stoke resentment. In a condescending dressing down, Lagarde lectured the Greeks about paying their taxes. She was clearly unbothered by any perceptions of hypocrisy. A Guardian article reveals a few interesting details about her salary:

Christine Lagarde, the IMF boss who caused international outrage after she suggested in an interview with the Guardian on Friday that beleaguered Greeks might do well to pay their taxes, pays no taxes, it has emerged.

As an official of an international institution, her salary of $467,940 (£298,675) a year plus $83,760 additional allowance a year is not subject to any taxes.

Lagarde failed to draw a distinction between Greek workers who pay taxes and the wealthy and well-to-do professionals who found any number of dodges to minimize their tax liabilities.

Related Guardian article – here.

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