In the wake of anointing former Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos as its new leader, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Πανελλήνιο Σοσιαλιστικό Κίνημα), or “PASOK” (ΠΑΣΟΚ in Greek) has received a small, but noticeable, bounce in the latest polls in advance of this spring’s legislative elections.
PASOK receives 15.5% to 22.5% for the traditionally center-right New Democracy party (Νέα Δημοκρατία).
Meanwhile, the KKE (Greece’s Communist party) would win 12%, SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left) would win another 12.5%, and the new DIMAR (Democratic Left) would also win 12%. A new anti-austerity right-wing party, the Independent Greeks, would win 8.5%.
LAOS (the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally) would take just 2%, the neo-fascist Golden Dawn takes 5% and the Ecologist Green party takes 3%.
Both of Venizelos and ND leader Antonis Samaras had nearly identical 30% favorability and 30% unfavorability ratings. Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of the Democratic Left, remained the most popular of the leaders with just over 50% favorability.
It’s shaping up as an odd election in that the traditional parties of the right (ND) and the left (PASOK) have converged in their positions — ND presided over the initial 2008 global financial crisis and PASOK presided over the onset of the 2010 sovereign debt crisis and subsequent waves of budget cuts, notwithstanding its traditional character as a socialist party.
As such, and especially following the appointment of Lucas Papademos as interim prime minister in November 2011 with the support of both ND and PASOK, both parties are pregnant with supporting the harsh austerity terms that have conditioned Greece’s recent bailouts:
[Translated from the original Greek]: In other words, the two (former) major parties in power have come so close by ideological (neoliberal) view and policy (co-ruling) practice, they now appear as “one flesh.”
Most commentators assume that the ND will win the elections with a minority or in a more formal ‘grand’ coalition with PASOK, thereby making permanent the informal coalition cobbled together to appoint Papademos. Together, PASOK and the ND — the “bailout” parties — win just 38% of the vote. Continue reading PASOK gets post-Venizelos polling bounce