Posts tagged ‘Greek economy’

Greek opinion polls show SYRIZA win: yet people prefer Samaras as Prime Minister!

 

Opinion polls in Greece depict, most accurately, the citizens ‘confusion and despair much more than anything else!

Let me share with you the latest one I found on TVXS (a site run by journalist Stelios Kouloglou, who was one of SYRIZA’s candidates for the European Parliament elections). It was conducted nationwide  by RASS from 29 to 31 October on behalf of iefimerida.gr.

opinionpollsnov2014

As you can see at the graph above, 26.4% of the electorate have chosen SYRIZA, New Democracy has scored 21.1% while the River, the newest addition to the Greek political scene led by Stavros Theodorakis, another journalist, comes third with 5.8%. The Communist Party of Greece reaches 5. 4% ,just 0.3% more than the extreme right wing Golden Dawn. The social democratic PASOK and the right wing Independent Greeks barely make it into Parliament while Democratic Left of Mr. Fotis Kouvelis stays out with 1%!.

On the other hand, the electorate appears divided on the question of early elections. 47.3 consider early elections a catastrophe for the economy while 46.1% hold the opposite view. Mr. Samaras is considered a better bet for Prime Minister by 35.2% while Alexis Tsipras follows with 27.9% thus choosing the leader of New Democracy ahead of the leader of SYRIZA, the party they are going to vote for!

One explanation for this division of public opinion is the role played by the mainstream mass media. According to most of them Greek economy is recovering and a change of government would destroy any chance of ending austerity! The result of this one-sided information has led to mistrust of the media and an increase of internet news sites which people seem to trust more.

The Greek people keep hearing that the Greek economy is recovering but fail to see this recovery mirrored in their living standards. Over taxation, repeated mistakes in its calculation coupled with increasing inefficiency of infrastructure in health care, transportation and education turn citizens into cynical, mistrusting people.

 

It is raining special contributions in Greece

I have to apologise because I have not written anything about Mr. Papandreou’s speech and announcements in Thessaloniki. My excuse is that he usually changes his statements about one day after making them ( I have proof) but also that it is becoming extremely depressing to watch the news – especially on tv.

In the meantime the Greek working people are faced with a storm of “special contributions” with various tags after them. A “special solidarity contribution” calculated on a percentage of the income stated on the tax return of 2010. A second “special contribution” will be paid by all home owners. This one will be calculated according to the size of the property and the area in which it is located. The lowest is 50 cents per square meter for buildings, flats etc situated in a cheap area and the highest 10 Euros per square meter for the more expensive, high class areas.This “special contribution” – a special tax to call it by its right name- will be collected through the DEH (Public Electricity Company)bi-monthly bills. As you understand in case the property is rented the lessor has to pay and deduct it from the rent.

Greek citizens live in daily uncertainty, not knowing what their income is or what will be left of it at the end of the month while the PASOK government promises “development”.

( Special notice: I have translated the Greek word εξαιρετική as “special” even though the actual meaning is “extraordinary”.I did this because it has not been clear whether these contributions are in reality “extraordinary” or will be repeated annually or monthly in the future)