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Politics

Dutch Bank Analyst Sees Volatile 2023 Election in Greece, Uncertainty

ATHENS – Greek elections in the spring will be unpredictable and affected by a mix of issues, including criticism of the New Democracy government’s surveillance and phone bugging, a review for the Dutch bank ING said.

In a review, Senior Analyst Paolo Pizzoli wrote that there will be political uncertainty in the run-up to elections and that a complicated system will almost certainly require two elections because no frontrunner would win enough votes to form a single-party government.

The election will be held under a purely proportional system, a shift from the previous structure in which a first-place finisher got a 50-seat bonus in the 300-member Parliament, which was removed under the former rule of the now major opposition SYRIZA.

The analysis noted that New Democracy (ND) currently has a 37-28 percent lead of the Leftists but that the resurging PASOK-KINAL center-left movement has doubled its popularity to 11.5 percent to become a catalyst.

“With these numbers, ND would be far from reaching a majority under the new system if it does not align itself with others (PASOK). Setting up a reliable coalition may turn out to be a difficult task,” the report said.

There’s a range of other factors too, especially the economy which is seeking soaring inflation cooling down but Greek households still struggling with the cost of living.

“The outlook for 2023 remains uncertain. With GDP well above pre-COVID levels, re-opening effects should now be over. Tourism receipts also returned back to their historical peak in the summer of last year, making it unlikely that we’ll see further substantial gains in 2023,” the report said.

An accelerating recovery which brought 5.6 percent growth in 2022 will be curtailed in 2023, it said, adding: “Changes to real disposable income will increasingly depend on inflation developments, with inevitable side effects on consumption.”

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