Parties focus on strategy as Parliament dissolved

Just a day after the swearing-in of the 300 MPs elected to Greece’s Parliament in the May 6 elections, the House was dissolved on Friday to pave the way for fresh polls on June 17, with political parties already forming their strategies and seeking alliances. In the camp of conservative New Democracy, sources said officials were planning to ratchet up the rhetoric vis-a-vis the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) by confronting voters with the “euro or drachma” dilemma, emphasizing that the leftist party’s insistence on rejecting Greece’s debt deal with its creditors was putting the country’s future in the eurozone at risk. Buoyed by the results of a new opinion poll showing ND to have inched ahead of the ascendant SYRIZA, the conservative party is expected to intensify its attack on the leftist group, insisting ND is the only party that can successfully renegotiate the debt deal with foreign creditors as party leader Antonis Samaras had been the first to propose an overhaul of the terms of the agreement.

For his part, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused ND and socialist PASOK -- the two parties that signed the debt deal -- of “scaremongering” with their threats of a possible Greek exit from the eurozone. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tsipras said Greece and its creditors should make certain concessions to keep Greece in the euro. PASOK, which paid the steepest political price for its pro-bailout stance, is planning to appeal to Greeks who did not vote in the May 6 polls and to draw back traditional supporters.

A new opinion poll, carried out by the firm Marc for Alpha TV, shows ND inching ahead of SYRIZA, with the conservatives garnering 23.1 percent, the leftist party 21 percent and PASOK 13.2 percent.  

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