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"Nobody" leads polls ahead of Greek election
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 18 - 11 - 2011

AlHijjah 22, 1432, Nov 18, 2011, SPA -- So deep is the general disgust with Greece's bickering political class that if there was a political party called "Nobody" it would have a clean sweep in an early general election slated for Feb. 19.
Where voters were once largely divided between the two parties that have ruled the Mediterranean state since a military Junta collapsed nearly four decades ago, a vacuum now threatens to plunge Greece into longer-term political chaos, according to Reuters.
In an opinion poll issued on Sunday by pollsters MRB, the answer "Nobody/I don't know/Another party" scored a combined 29.7 percent among those asked, the highest score of any other answer in the survey.
The trend has been growing for months as Greeks fed up with lender-prescribed austerity measures to ward off default increasingly blame traditional parties for their woes. The February election is unlikely to produce a clear winner.
"There is no party out there which can bring something new, bring a solution or take us out of the crisis," said Anna Georgantidou, a 23-year old receptionist in Athens.
Appalled by politicians she feels are more interested in jockeying for position than saving Greece, Georgantidou said she will abstain or cast an invalid vote.
With the threshold to enter parliament at 3 percent, pundits say the number of parties expected to get in will likely rise from five to seven or more, significantly increasing the chances that the next government will be an unruly coalition.
Having suffered three-years of budget cuts and tax hikes that have devastated incomes, wiped out jobs and pushed the country into a fourth year of recession, Greeks see no existing party as capable of rule.
Even though the economic downturn has forced her to move back in with her parents to save money, Georgantidou does not necessarily oppose belt tightening prescribed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, because she sees it as a way Greece can return to prosperity, if done right.
But she believes the traditional parties are too close to vested interests to tackle the crisis measures effectively.
"I want someone who can implement a plan. I want someone who can give us hope, not to just say that things will be better, but to actually improve them," she said.
-- SPA

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