Sunday, September 6, 2015

Syriza’s popularity wanes as key poll approaches

by Kerin Hope

Financial Times

September 6, 2015

Antigoni Kanelli says she voted for Greece’s leftwing Syriza party in January because she believed Alexis Tsipras’s promise to increase state pensions after five years of cuts that slashed her monthly income by more than one-third.

Now pensions are once again being reduced, this time to provide extra funds for the cash-strapped state healthcare service, while further cuts loom next year as Greece implements a €86bn new bailout programme agreed by Syriza with international creditors.

“I feel very disappointed . . . I thought Syriza was a different kind of party with a dynamic young leader who could stand up for Greece in Europe,” said Mrs Kanelli, a retired high school teacher. “But he’s [Mr Tsipras] turned out to be just like the old politicians . . . He’s certainly not getting my vote this time.”

Increasing numbers of Greeks seem to share Mrs Kanelli’s opinion. Support for Syriza has plunged according to opinion polls, triggering doubts over whether Mr Tsipras can fend off a rising challenge from the centre-right New Democracy party at a snap general election on September 20.


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