- Parties on extreme left and right gain in Greece as elections approach
- Greece's PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos warns voters about euro bailout
- Greece's New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras blasts immigrants
- Syrian troops massacre Aleppo University students in their sleep
Parties on extreme left and right gain in Greece as elections approach
For years, the conservative New Democracy party and the socialist PASOK party have led Greek politics, but with Greece's economy continuing to crash into oblivion, parties on the extreme left and right are gaining ground. Here's a summary of the latest poll results, with elections scheduled for Sunday:
Party Support (%) ------------------------------------------------ ------------- Conservative - Nea Dimokratia (New Democracy) 25.5 Socialists - PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) 19.1 Communists - KKE (Communist Party of Greece) 10.6 [#] Left Coalition 9.1 [#] Right-Wing Populists - Independent Greeks 7.7 [#] Left - Democratic Left - 5.4 [#] Far right - Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) 5.2 [#] Right - LAOS (PopuIar0rthodox Rally) 4.0 [#] Center-Right - Democratic Alliance 3.8 [#] Does not support the euro bailout terms Source: Kapa Research / Spiegel
In the 2009 election, ND got 33.5% of the vote, and PASOK got 43.9% of the vote. So the above figures represent substantial reductions.
Support for the major ND and PASOK parties has been falling, while the Communist Party and the Far right Golden Dawn party have gained substantially. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party is being very aggressive, with shaved heads, military uniforms, Nazi chants and Hitler greetings. They've threatened violence directed at immigrants and even journalists. There are now three outwardly xenophobic parties in Greece -- Golden Dawn, the anti-Semitic party LAOS, and Independent Greeks -- and together they could garner 20% of the vote on Sunday. Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy party leads in the polls, but the winner, whoever he is, will have to deal with the far right to form a governing coalition. Der Spiegel
Greece's New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras blasts immigrants
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is toughening his language on illegal immigrants, calling them "tyrants" of Greek society, hoping to capture some of the votes that polls indicate will go to the far right parties Golden Dawn, LAOS, and Independent Greeks. He also blasted those three parties directly:
They are water carriers for PASOK, they have nothing to offer, they simply put obstacles in the way of us achieving a strong popular mandate.
It is shameful because they promise paradise with material from hell. They are devils. Isolate the Nazis. Political monsters like this should not exist in Greece or its Parliament.
Greece's PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos warns voters about euro bailout
The two major parties, ND and PASOK, agree on moving ahead with austerity plans required to continue to receive bailout money from the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but most of the remaining parties are opposed to a bailout austerity program. In some cases, they claim to want to abandon the euro currency and return to the old drachma currency. PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos warned that this would be disastrous for Greece. "This works in favor of corruption and all those who took their money out of the country and are waiting to buy up everything if we return to the drachma," he said. Kathimerini
Syrian troops massacre Aleppo University students in their sleep
About 1,500 university students in the city of Aleppo in Syria held anti-government rallies on Wednesday. On Thursday night, President Bashar al-Assad's security forces stormed the university, breaking down doors and using machine guns and rifles against students. Four students were killed and dozens were arrested. Independent