GREEK CRISIS: New poll puts Alexis Tsipras well out in front

Fresh opinion research has Syriza 15 pts clear

The European Union may have just won the Nobel Peace Prize, but peace is the last thing the Sprouts of Brussels are bringing to Greece. Forcing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to knuckle under on the question of austerity has pulled the rug from under leading rightist Party New Democracy, while previously the Berlin-am-Brussels bullying of Papandreou neutered the appeal of leftist PASOK. Since then, new PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has destroyed the Party’s credibility by openly scheming against Samaras…..and then being revealed as the main villain in the Lagarde List scandal.

A new opinon poll yesterday suggested a clear lead for Syriza, the Left Party headed by the increasingly persuasive Alexis Tsipras (pictured above). In just four weeks, New Democracy’s popularity has fallen 10%, while net, Syriza has the biggest share of voting intentions by some 15%. Over the same period, PASOK fell back a further 9%, to the point where an election tomorrow would render it a minority Party on a level with the neo-fascist Golden Dawn.

My instinct is that this is bound to concentrate Nordeurop minds when it comes to Merkel’s inflexible austerity drive. One of two things will happen: either a drive to amputate Greece from the eurozone body will gather speed, or more calm minds will prevail….and realise that the Greek State needs to be cut some slack.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Two months ago I reaffirmed my belief that the Merkeschäuble strategy was to frighten the Greeks via the German media, and then follow the stick with a disguised carrot. But like so many well-laid plans, this one has gone awry. A combination of other alternatives for Athens (plus the German tabloid frenzy getting out of hand) led to the situation we saw earlier this week, when Chancellor Merkel had to be practically smuggled in and out of Greece.

The Troika approach in Southern Europe is having one overriding effect: to produce desperation – and therefore act as a catalyst in the germination of that very Nazi v Communist confrontation the Germans themselves genuinely fear….and the EU was allegedly formed to banish forever from the European political landscape.

Instability in a social, political and economic sense has now reached frightening proportions in the Hellenic Republic. One very important clue from last night’s new poll was that 70% believe there will be early elections again.

Meanwhile – as The Slog suggested earlier today – well-sourced feedback from Greece indicates that PASOK is internally riven. A regular Party informant asserts:

“It’s a boiling cauldron as we say in Greece. There are many inside PASOK that want Venizelos out. And Venizelos predecessor George Papaconstantinou has gone AWOL despite the fact that he has been called by the special prosecutor to testify about the Lagarde List. He is probably in the US – but when officers from the prosecutor’s office tried to find him, he did not return their calls.”

I like the cut of Alexis Tsipras’s jib: he strikes me as a diplomatic and sensible young man. Ironically, this avowed enemy of austerity and EU neocon poppycock now seems to be the last Greek standing between his country’s self-esteem and eurozone disaster.

Joke doing the rounds in the UK: There is panic in Oslo as adjudicators fear that Venizelos has eaten the Nobel Peace Pies.

23 thoughts on “GREEK CRISIS: New poll puts Alexis Tsipras well out in front

  1. The thing that panics the EU about Tsipras and his Syriza is that his stance is two fingers to the creditors (not just the EU) and a massive forced nationalisation programme of key assets.

    Enough to get the neo-liberalists/ US neo-cons in a right tiswas.

  2. It’s like there isn’t a plan, and they are making it up as they go along. Who really believes that it’s all going tits up? Many, I’m sure but, it isn’t, it wasn’t too many months ago when it was not going to survive beyond autumn, oh, look, it’s nearly Christmas. These people are not fools, and contrary to opinion and we are but putty in their hands, it’s easy to manipulate the masses. The future is not ours to enjoy, it is ours to endure. Unless, of course the people wake and revolt……oh, forget that then.

  3. Having just spent 9 days touring Greece,I can report that hotel occupancy is down ,year on year, from 20 to 40 percent.The Greeks can elect who they like.The Athenians have deserted the traditional resorts:no Italians,this summer,either.To my surprise,friendly hotel staff were well up on a suicide in Jakarta,and HSBC Geneva.They still cling to the Euro,probably because it is not controlled by Greece.FWIW,my money is on a Grexit,this side of Christmas.

  4. JW, i don’t think your ideas, views, social and political stance, have a lot in common with those of Tsipras and Syriza.
    I do understand the impression. He does have a nice face (compared to Big Fat Benny he probably looks like a saint). Ed Miliband’s pictures had a similar impression on me.

  5. Nice post John, goes along with my thoughts too….Lagarde has realised that you cannot push Greece further without totally destabilising the country BUT Woolfie S has’nt sussed it yet…..which ultimatly will look rather bad on his CV for OberFiskalFuherer for Das new (und veer peaceful) Europe ven isht all fuschks up.

    I have a hunch that there are a number of Safety Valves that will blow betwixt Nov 6 and the Festive Season..and Greece is gonna be one of them. (Whoever wins in the US) ….. Samaras was elected on a ticket of renegotiating Greek debt with the EU…..Portugal gets an extra year but Greece has not…….so this Greek Govt has failed utterly to deliver its principal election promise and Tspras has cleverly kept his powder dry and waited in the wings for the present dodgy Greek Govt to implode…. Shortly…

    So $64,000 question is “Which happens first……

    Spain begs for a baleout and someone credable gets to open their Bank Books and finds that 10k goat grazing land with unfortuate concrete structures are still booked on as 40 flats at 200k each OR

    The Greek govt falls apart and there are new elections…..possibly caused by the Troika report …or La Agent Orange Lagarde is told that she is about to be the first IMF leader to loose her money on a country….no matter which

    Any bets ….? Either way …..endgame moves another notch closer

  6. Evaginated Venisonsausage is so far past his sell by date that composting is the only safe disposal; the result would need to be left for several years before spreading on or near produce destined for human consumption. Tsipras is of the radical left, somebody correct me if I’m wrong. He is vocal about the bankstas but less so on the subject of sovereign debt; he certainly doesn’t seem to be anti EU as a concept, merely the current imbalance which is so disastrously affecting his country amongst others and would probably still prefer to sing Ode to Joy rather than Owed to Junk.

  7. Nobel Peace Prize ? they should have won the Chemistry prize for inventing the formula to turn countries into shite .
    I also thought that “hallucinatory realism” that was used about Mo Yan who won the literature prize was rather appropriate for the EE .

  8. “Instability in a social, political and economic sense has now reached frightening proportions in the Hellenic Republic.”

    A friend, recent returned from a holiday in Greece tells me made a point of chatting to various holiday reps there, to see how things were doing in the tourist trade. Apparently, major holiday companies have been sending over empty planes to pick up holiday makers, such is the down turn in bookings. In addition, the same tour operators have been advertising available bookings in Greek hotels, despite those same hotels being boarded up, again due to lack of bookings.

    • I’ve been to Greece twice this year – usually I go three times – and there was a noticable downturn. But that was predictable with riots in Athens beamed around the world. But the decline in tourism has been gradual for the past 10 years, certainly since 9/11. The hayday’s were the late 1980s and 1990s. Been downhill since then.

  9. Pingback: John Ward – Greek Crisis: New Poll Puts Alexis Tsipras Well Out In Front – Fresh Opinion Research Has Syriza 15pts Clear – 13 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  10. your comments about Greece may be too generalised. i have been travelling here for six months (not in Athens) and, mainly, see nice people leading civilised lives with their families, using their shops and restaurants in the normal way. Greece is used to currency defaults and will probably manage the coming crisis just fine. Is there any evidence that they care enough about privelege and corruption to get rid of it? not from Alex Tsipras!

  11. Pingback: GEORGE PROVOPOLOUS: Governor of the Bank of Greed | A diary of deception and distortion

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