Leaders prepare for final campaign rallies ahead of Sunday vote

Parties will round off their election campaigns with rallies around the country today before voters are given a day off contemplation ahead of polling day on Sunday.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos is likely to grab the most attention as he addresses a crowd in Syntagma Square, central Athens, at 7 p.m.

PASOK and New Democracy in particular have mostly steered clear of public gatherings. Given their declining popularity, they felt that the turnout might be low and feared possible attacks on politicians.

Dozens of public figures have been verbally and physically attacked over the last two years, as Greeks growing ever more frustrated with the tough economic conditions and continuing austerity program.

The two main parties have held a few tightly controlled public events over the last few days but Venizelos’s speech in Syntagma will be the most public rally held by either of them.

While the PASOK leader speaks in Athens, New Democracy president Antonis Samaras – who spoke in the capital on Thursday – will be appearing at 7.30 p.m. at an indoor arena in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.

On Thursday, Samaras attacked his opponents to the left and right and repeated his intention to clamp down on illegal immigration, labelling migrants “tyrants” of Greek society.

Venizelos focussed his speech on Rhodes on Thursday more on trying to discredit the anti-bailout positions adopted by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). PASOK and SYRIZA are locked in a last-minute battle to convince undecided voters, many of whom have traditionally backed the Socialists.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who is hoping his party can come third on Sunday or even overtake PASOK for second place, will be speaking in Thessaloniki at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga is due to speak at the Metropolitan Hotel in Athens at 1 p.m. Giorgos Karatzaferis, the leader of the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), is speaking at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Athens at 8 p.m.

Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis will round off his campaign in Iraklio, Crete, while Democratic Alliance leader Dora Bakoyannis will speak in Votanikos, central Athens, at 4.30 p.m.

The head of the nationalist Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos, is due to speak on the pedestrian walkway on Dionisiou Areopagitou Street in Athens at 7 p.m.

As dictated by election law, there will be no campaigning on Saturday. Polls will close at 7 p.m. on Sunday and Singular Logic, the software company that will handled the processing of votes, says it will be able to make its first safe projection of the final outcome based on actual results at around 11 p.m.


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