Just days ahead of the country’s national elections, various opinion polls show upwards of 20% of the voting populace undecided or planning to abstain, showing a tremendous disillusionment amongst Greeks.
They have good reason.
Twice this year alone, Greeks voted overwhelmingly against more austerity— including in a surprising snap referendum that sent shockwaves throughout the eurozone, only to see the anti-austerity politicians do a big, fat Greek U-turn and agree to implement even harsher terms.
Numerous opinion polls released yesterday show the two main parties— Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza and conservative New Democracy led by Vangelis Meimarakis— neck and neck, closing what was a 25-point gap in only a few months, according to a report in The Guardian by Helena Smith.
A poll released by the University of Macedonia on 11 September showed New Democracy trailing by just one point with 19%.
A survey by Palmos Analysis on Saturday reinforced the findings, with the conservatives gathering 23.7% of voter support, compared with 24.9% for the leftists.
Golden Dawn, Greece’s right wing anti-immigration, anti-semitic, homophobic, anti-European Union party is polling at 3rd place and expected to gain anywhere between 5% to 7.5% of the vote, guaranteeing its spot as Greece’s third political power.
Golden Dawn is using the refugee crisis in Greece as a wake up call to Greeks so their country doesn’t “turn into Pakistan.”
The party’s spokesperson, Ilias Kasidiaris, who has tattoos of swastikas on his arm, found ripe ground on islands like Kos, where hundreds of Syrian refugees arrive daily and local residents are feeling the strain.
“Kos has a choice. If (inhabitants) choose to vote Syriza it will turn into Pakistan. If they choose Golden Dawn and Golden Dawn governs the land, then Kos will become Greece again. And that is our goal,” he told residents.