PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said on Tuesday that his party and New Democracy have a duty to halt the rise of right-wing extremism but as the two political groupings gear up for the upcoming elections, there seems little scope for them seeing eye to eye on anything.
Speaking to PASOK officials from the regions, Venizelos said that the rise of extremism had to be countered. Over the last two months, support for the neo-fascist Chrysi Avgi seems to have risen substantially. A Public Issue opinion poll published on Sunday indicated that support for the extremist party had gone up to 5 percent, which would give it several seats in Parliament.
However, New Democracy was more focused on drawing up its election strategy than finding common ground with PASOK. Conservative leader Antonis Samaras has already begun daily meetings with his campaign team. Sources said that ND has also reached an agreement with the McCann Erickson advertising agency over its promotion campaign for the elections.
Samaras will attempt to focus New Democracy’s campaign on two main themes. The first will be to emphasize the danger that Greece could face if the elections do not produce a single-party government. With ND leading in the polls but well short of a clear majority, Samaras is trying to rally enough support to make his party the first past the post. The second line of attack for the conservatives will be an attempt to argue that Venizelos was part of a failed PASOK government and that he made serious mistakes as finance minister.