News / Europe

Greeks Divided as Election Stalemate Looms Again

Greeks Divided as Election Stalemate Looms Againi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
June 04, 2012 8:43 PM
The final day of polling before the repeat election in Greece on June 17 showed the two main contenders neck and neck. The economic crisis has divided Greeks, who appear split on the causes and solutions to the country's financial meltdown. As Henry Ridgwell reports from Athens, the political stalemate only appears to be entrenching these divisions.

Greeks Divided as Election Stalemate Looms Again

Henry Ridgwell
ATHENS - The final day of polling before the repeat election in Greece on June 17 showed the two main contenders neck and neck. The economic crisis has divided Greeks, who appear split on the causes and solutions to the country's financial meltdown. The political stalemate only appears to be entrenching these divisions.

Industrial disputes do not get much worse than this.  The workers at the Hellenic Halyvourgia steel plant have been on strike for more than 200 days. Yorgos Sifonios is president of the workers’ union.  He showed letters of solidarity from unions across the world.

“The Union has undertaken collective action, which has roused the whole of Greece's working class. Our strike has become a landmark, a model of how all workers must fight,” Sifonios said.

The factory’s owner laid off 50 workers last year, blaming falling demand.  The company declined an interview.

The workers say production was actually increasing.  Among those on the picket line is Panayiotis Papanikolaou, who has worked at the factory for more than 20 years.

“Right now, I think most of the workers will support and vote for Syriza - not PASOK or New Democracy - because Syriza supports the workers,” Papanikolaou said.

Greek unemployment hit a record 21.7 percent in February. More than half of young people have no job.

Alex Tsipras, the 37-year-old leader, of the Syriza Party, has vowed to cancel the austerity program insisted on by the European Union in return for financial bailouts.

Results from Friday, the last day of polling before the June 17 election, show Syriza  and New Democracy - which supports the bailout - each holding around 26 percent.
Anastasios Georgiadis is director of Kapa Research, which carried out the poll.

“Based on today’s information, it will be no easier to form a government than it was on May 7 [after the first election],” Georgiadis said.

Analysts say the economic crisis has polarized Greek politics.  Nikos Christodoulou from Merit Securities says the markets would punish a Syriza victory.

“The market wants a more pro-European government which would implement the reforms and would not attack the bailout agreement,” Christodoulou said.

Athens residents flocked to the beach Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the sun and try to forget about the crisis.

In less than two weeks, they return to the polls knowing another economic storm could soon follow.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid