April 14. 2024. 6:41

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Greek government now mulls elections in May

The train tragedy that cost the lives of at least 57 people has changed the Greek government’s plan for elections in April, with media reports suggesting the conservative government is seeing 14 or 21 May as a possible alternative date.

The political debate in Athens has heated up in the aftermath of the train tragedy and has put pressure on the government. Media reports the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ inner circle aims to hold national elections on 21 May, and if a second round is needed – considering that a new electoral law will apply – this will take place on 2 July.

This means the elections will take place in the middle of the tourist season, potentially having a significant impact on the economy.

Train tragedy blows off election plans for Greek conservative government

The train tragedy that cost the lives of at least 57 people – mainly youngsters and students – will likely change the Greek ruling New Democracy party’s plans for the next elections scheduled for 9 April.
Meanwhile, young people protested in …

On the other hand, some believe that this date may be helpful for the government considering that young people will either work for the summer season or be on holiday and thus, will not vote.

According to the polls, young people have turned their back on the conservative government.

Before the train tragedy, the ruling New Democracy party (EPP) led all polls. However, public anger is growing following the deadly train crash, and the political landscape has changed.

Analysts in Athens estimate that the new electoral law will make a coalition government inevitable as parties will struggle to get an absolute majority and form a single-party government.

In the first round, a proportional system will apply; in the second round, to form a government, one party or a coalition will need approximately 38% of the vote.

Meanwhile, anti-government protests across the country are increasing, and on Wednesday, the public sector goes on strike while the Greek Maritime Federation (PNO) will seal off all ports.

Last but not least, the opposition strongly criticised the government’s decision to allow former transportation minister Kostas Karamanlis to run in the elections.

Karamanlis was the only person who resigned after the train tragedy.

(Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)