On Sunday, Greek voters cast ballots in closely contested legislative elections. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis His predecessor, New Democrat leader Alexis Tsipras, emerged from the far left.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (04:00 GMT). When these centers close at 19:00 (16:00 GMT), preliminary results based on voter counts will be released.
The elections come at a time when the country is facing a severe economic crisis, which the majority of Greeks are not very interested in because they have lost faith in the ability of the main parties to solve their problems.
Mitsotakis is trying to stay in power for a second term, but without a stable majority in these elections, he will not be able to form a government, which many analysts expect, and then a new one should be held at the polls in early July.
After about three months Widespread public opposition With his government shaken, Mitsotakis faces his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, who engaged in a power struggle with the European Union in early 2015.
Polls give Mitsotakis’ camp the lead
After the frontrunners, Nikos Androlakis, leader of the Pasok-Kinal Socialists, is expected to play the “kingmaker” role.
Opinion polls show Mitsotakis, who has been in power for four years, has a 5 to 6 point lead. The New Democratic Party won 30.7 percent to 33.6 percent, while Syriza, which has strengthened its leftist orientation, is expected to win between 25.7 percent and 26.9 percent of the vote.
Such a decision of right does not allow him to rule alone. But Kyriakos Mitsotakis, 55, ruled out forming a coalition in a country without a political culture based on compromise.
In the past four years, the Prime Minister wanted to give an image of Greece being more engaged in the EU to encourage foreign investment. Today, he promises “changes that will make Greece a modern European country”. But this economic recovery is false.
Greeks are still reeling from the consequences of the harsh austerity measures that have radically changed the face of the country, with low salaries and young people migrating to work abroad. The cost of living and high energy prices top the concerns of voters hit by inflation hitting 10 percent in 2022.
Ruined public services and the memory of the Tempe train tragedy
The SYRIZA party leader promises that “the time has come for a change” and, like his rival, has promised a pay rise.
Away from the tourist areas with beautiful beaches and villages highlighted by white and blue houses on the hills, Greeks suffer daily from poor public services, especially in the health sector. Real estate prices have skyrocketed, as has happened on some islands.
The train disaster in Tempe, which killed 57 people in late February, added to these problems. The tragedy sparked outrage, and tens of thousands took to the streets, accusing authorities of indifference and chanting, “Our lives matter!” They wrote on the banners.
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