Monday, 14 September 2009

PASOK's election strategy - will Greece swallow it?

Now after the week-end speech of Papandreou, PASOK oppostion leader, we have a clearer view of how the party plans ot get the majority. As I stated in my previous post he seems to be placing importance on emphasising what PASOK will push through byu way of legislation in the first 100 days if the party wins the election. One measure which will inevitably be popular - if the electorate fall for it - is the promise to raise wages and pensions in the public sector - the exact opposite of Karamanlis who stated his intention to freeze wages in the public sector. Papandreou plans to make savings by cutting public waste in the sector.
Secondly PASOK  has vowed they will introduce legislation to protect people with bank loans and to take measure to combat the rising cost of living. One such measure is to break any cartel or price fixing in Greece, issues we have seen in the past on account of the relatively small number of big players in the market. This will be combined with stronger efforts to combat tax evasion and to tax church properties. A third measure Papandreou mentions is help for small and medium-sized enterprises in the form of low-cost loans and an additional measure which makes sense is working on cutting bureaucracy for those wishing to set themselves up in business. Although not specific in his speech, Papandreou also foresees incetnives on the job market to increase employment in the face of the economic crisis.
New Democracy has responded that this is an unrealistic set of measures which does not entail one unpopular measure. So now the question remains if PASOK has the credibility among the electorate to get their vote of confidence in the form of an election victory.

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