Differences between main parties marginal, opinion polls show

Greece's two main parties are head to head in voter preferences while their combined share of the vote is less than 50 percent, according to the results of opinion polls appearing in Greek Sunday newspapers.
Main opposition New Democracy was just slightly ahead of PASOK in a Pulse-RC poll published by 'Typos tis Kyriakis', with 19.5 percent of the overall vote compared with 19 percent for PASOK. Their positions were reversed but the difference even smaller in an ALCO poll published by the Sunday paper 'Proto Thema', with PASOK at 20.7 percent and ND at 20.4 percent.

Following the two leaders in the Pulse-RC poll were the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 9 percent, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 5.5 percent, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 4 percent. The Ecologists-Greens received 2.5 percent and the Democratic Left, Democratic Alliance and Arma Politon, each received 2 percent, which would exclude them from any future Parliament.

A further 3.5 percent of voters expressed a preference for parties other than the above, 23.5 percent said they would cast a blank vote or abstain, while 7.5 percent is undecided.

Current prime minister George Papandreou and main opposition leader Antonis Samaras tied on the question of who was most suitable for prime minister, with each getting 20.5 percent preference, while 56 percent of those asked chose neither.

Roughly three-quarters of those asked (74 percent) believe that Greece should renegotiate the terms of the Memorandum, while 53 percent is against early elections.

A further 76 percent believe that the measures proposed by the government will not bring the country out of the crisis and 52 percent agreed with Samaras' decision not to back most of the government's measures. Another 53 percent agree with the ND leader's proposals for reducing taxation.
Finally 46 percent believe that the privatisations announced by the government will help the development of the economy.

Based on the ALCO poll, KKE will get 7.9 percent of the vote, LAOS 5.6 percent, SYRIZA 3.2 percent, the Democratic Alliance 2.6percent, the Democratic Left 2.3 percent, the Ecologists-Greens 2 percent and the Arma Politon 1.1 percent.

At the same time, 43 percent agree with Samaras' refusal to back the PM's proposals and 40 percent disagree.
On the issue of raising taxes to increase public revenues, 82 percent are opposed to paying new taxes and 62 percent fear that the country will default and will be unable to pay wages and pensions.

A further 68 percent wants Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou replaced, while seven in 10 believe that the government's new measures are moving in the wrong direction. More than half, 54 percent, agree with the dismissal of excess public-sector workers and 60 percent agree with the privatisation of public utilities, 61 percent with the abolition of public-sector agencies while 68 percent completely disagrees with the sale of public land and buildings.

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