The Guardian reports: Greece’s anti-austerity party of the left, Syriza, has stretched its election lead to six points, putting it on course for a historic victory in Sunday’s crucial elections.
With the incumbent prime minister, Antonis Samaras, warning of economic catastrophe if Syriza prevails, and Europe looking on nervously, the shortest election campaign in Greek postwar history concludes on Friday.
Barely four weeks after the failure of parliament to elect a president, triggering the ballot, Greece’s fate now lies in the hands of 9.8 million voters. All the polls show, with growing conviction, that victory will go to Syriza. A poll released by GPO for Mega TV late on Thursday gave the far leftists a six-percentage-point lead over Samaras’s centre-right New Democracy, the dominant force in a coalition government that has held power since June 2012. A week earlier, GPO had the lead at four percentage points.
Buoyed by such figures, Alexis Tsipras, the young firebrand who has overseen Syriza’s meteoric rise from the margins of Greek political life, pledged “historic change” as he gave a triumphant speech to thousands of supporters in central Athens on Thursday night.
“History is knocking at our door,” he said, appealing to Greeks, young and old, to participate in the “overthrow” of an establishment widely blamed for bringing the bailed-out nation to the point of economic and social collapse. “Hope isn’t coming. It has arrived. Nothing can stop it now,” he said, attacking Samaras as “a merchant of fear”. [Continue reading…]