New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras toughened his language regarding illegal immigrants and right-wing parties on Thursday as he made his penultimate campaign speech in Athens, during which he said that Greece would enter a period of “instability” if voters do not give the conservatives a clear majority on Sunday.
Speaking outside Zappeio Hall in central Athens, Samaras used particularly harsh terms to describe immigrants and some of his political opponents. The ND leader has made illegal immigration one of the central themes of his campaign but his comment on Thursday that illegal migrants are “tyrants” of Greek society stood out.
Samaras was also tough on the parties to New Democracy’s right, which are likely to draw enough support on Sunday to prevent the conservatives obtaining an outright majority. “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,” he said of Independent Greeks, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) and Chrysi Avgi. All three parties oppose Greece’s latest bailout.
“It is shameful because they promise paradise with material from hell. They are devils,” added Samaras before launching a separate attack on the neofascist Chrysi Avgi, which has a chance of gaining parliamentary seats for the first time on Sunday. “Isolate the Nazis,” he told the crowd. “Political monsters like this should not exist in Greece or its Parliament.”
The ND leader insisted that forming a coalition government with PASOK after the elections was not an option worth considering, even though opinion polls -- which are banned for the last two weeks of the campaign -- had suggested that neither party would be able to get a clear majority. “A coalition would not be in the interests of the Greek people,” he said. “It would only be in the interests of PASOK, corruption and vested interests.”
New Democracy sources suggested to Kathimerini that one post-election option would be for PASOK to give the conservatives its support in Parliament but not place any of its members in the government. A right-wing coalition is also possible, although far less likely.
“If we do not get a strong mandate, there will be instability,” said the ND leader. “We want to overturn the policies of PASOK, not always have to keep fine balances.”
Wilfried Martens, the head of the European People’s Party, the EU grouping of conservative parties, spoke before Samaras and said that ND had the EPP’s full backing.Ekathimerini.com