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Greece: coalition on the cards?

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 01:32

Syriza is nosing ahead again to reclaim its lead ahead of Greece's general election, according to the latest opinion poll. While Grexit may be off the cards for now, the country's economy is still the main battleground between the main parties. David Pollard reports.

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Talk of Grexit may be over for now but Greece's economy is still in a precarious position. And with yet another election just nine days away, its politics hang in the balance. Earlier this week, Syriza leader and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras went head to head in a TV debate with his main rival. New Democracy leader, Evangelos Meimarakis, though, is offering a post-election olive branch: he's willing to form a coalition. SOUNDBITE: Evangelos Meimarakis, New Democracy party leader, saying (Greek): "The first party that I would turn to would be the one that comes second. Because I believe that together, we must coordinate and participate in a common effort.'' A quarter of Greek workers are unemployed, capital controls remain in place and industrial output is shrinking. Adding to that strain, Greece's third bailout comes with fresh taxes and pension cuts. Vicky Pryce is from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. She says a more centrist administration is inevitable. SOUNDBITE: Vicky Pryce, chief economic advisor, Centre for Economics and Business Research, saying (English): "Whoever wins, we will be seeing Greece move more to the center .... So actually that's quite a positive move. What it means is that implementation of the third bailout conditions will be much easier because it'll actually be supported by the party running the government, or whichever coalition it is." Opinion polls have put the two parties neck and neck - although the latest does point to a surge putting Syriza ahead. Since the economic crisis broke out in 2009, Greece has held four parliamentary elections and has had seven governments. Politicians and economists say this one, though, could be the one that counts most.

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Greece: coalition on the cards?

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 01:32