Main Greek parties vulnerable in election

Other News Materials 15 September 2007 01:57 (UTC +04:00)

( Euronews ) Time is running out for undecided voters in Greece to make their minds up ahead of an election that could shake up the political establishment. The most recent polls suggest the race between the two main parties is so close that smaller rivals could have a big say in who forms the next government.

The centre-right New Democracy government called the snap election in August but has since seen a downturn in its fortunes, not least because many Greeks accuse it of mishandling the recent forest-fires crisis. Both New Democracy and the opposition socialist PASOK party ended their campaigns yesterday with extravagant rallies.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis came to power partly on promises of tackling corrupton and boosting growth. He rejects PASOK's claim that cronyism has increased under his rule and says it has its roots in the socialists' time in office.

The ruling party was seen as having a slight lead in the last surveys two weeks ago. But opposition leader George Papandreou cannot be sure of picking up votes from disillusioned New Democracy supporters. The vacuum may be filled by smaller parties and that could mean coalition talks or even fresh elections