PASOK, SYRIZA vie for the undecided

PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) turned their fire on each other on Thursday as they battled to win the support of undecided voters ahead of Sunday’s elections.

SYRIZA enjoyed a steady rise in opinion polls over the past few weeks and party leader Alexis Tsipras made a direct appeal on Thursday to disgruntled PASOK voters who are reluctant to support the center-left group after its turbulent period in office.

“Today’s PASOK has swapped the broad social coalition that supported it for decades for a new social pact with the wealthy and the oligarchs, with the few who get rich when the many become poor,” Tsipras told supporters at a rally in Athens.

Tsipras said that SYRIZA could be a “common home” for Greeks who had voted for PASOK in the past. He also insisted that the leftist coalition could come second or third in Sunday’s elections and have a chance of forming the next government. If there is no clear winner, the head of the leading party will have three days to form a unity government. If he fails, the second party will have the same right. Otherwise, the party which comes third will get a shot at trying to create a coalition.

PASOK, meanwhile, appreciates that many of its traditional supporters are still undecided about whether to back the Socialists again on Sunday. In a bid to sway them, leader Evangelos Venizelos told a crowd on Rhodes that “the undecided will tip the balance in these elections, which will decide the country’s fate for the next 20 years.” He accused Tsipras, who opposes the latest Greek bailout and advocates a unilateral default inside the eurozone, of preparing to lead Greece into “the loneliness experienced by Albania before the fall of communism.”

Venizelos is due to have one last throw of the dice on Friday when he addresses a crowd in Athens at an open-air rally in Syntagma Square. 

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