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GREECE **21 Apr 2012 Early national election expected


Greece plans an early parliamentary election. The results will be a measure of voter anger at austerity measures in place to help the country di

April 21, 2012 - NULL

GREECE **21 Apr 2012 Early national election expected

Greece plans an early parliamentary election. The results will be a measure of voter anger at austerity measures in place to help the country dig out of its hole. The former ruling Socialist party, Pasok, one of the three parties in the caretaker coalition government, is likely to be punished for the country's debt crisis. Losses for the Socialists are likely to be gains for the other two parties in the coalition, the centre-right New Democracy party and a far-right nationalist party, LAOS.

Lucas Papademos, a former central banker and

GREECE **21 Apr 2012 Early national election expected

Greece plans an early parliamentary election. The results will be a measure of voter anger at austerity measures in place to help the country dig out of its hole. The former ruling Socialist party, Pasok, one of the three parties in the caretaker coalition government, is likely to be punished for the country's debt crisis. Losses for the Socialists are likely to be gains for the other two parties in the coalition, the centre-right New Democracy party and a far-right nationalist party, LAOS.

Lucas Papademos, a former central banker and an apolitical technocrat, heads the coalition. He was appointed in November to secure the accord on a 130 billion euro (US $170 billion) bailout plan that includes a crucial bond swap arrangement with private sector creditors. Reuters reports that Papademos is racing to complete tax, pension and justice reforms demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the lenders to Greece.

The Socialists enjoyed a landslide victory in Oct 2009, but their popularity has dropped out of sight. Greeks have fought hard against the spending cuts and tax rises demanded by their international lenders in the euro zone and IMF, with some protests turning violent on the streets of Athens. George Papandreou stepped down as prime minister in Nov 2010 to make way for an interim government, and has said he won't stand again for the job. In a December poll reported by the Dow Jones newswire, the main opposition New Democracy (ND) Party, led by Antonis Samaras, held a narrow lead over the Socialists.
(WRITTEN Jan 2012)

RELATED READING:
Greek conservatives push back election deadline to April (12 Jan 2012)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/27/greece-election-idUSL6E7NR1OY20111227

The Mediterranean blues (Economist 14 Jan 2012)
http://www.economist.com/node/21542815

Lucas Papademos to lead Greece's interim coalition government (Guardian 10 Nov 2011)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/10/lucas-papademos-greece-interim-coalition

Date written/update: 2012-04-21