April 12 - Support for the two parties backing Greece's international bailout remains at historic lows less than a month before a general election. Andrew Potter reports.
It's an understatement to say the deep spending cuts in Greece have been unpopular. The political parties who backed them could be about to pay the price. Interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has called a snap election for May 6. Polling suggests the conservative New Democracy and Socialist PASOK parties has fallen to historic lows, and if that doesn't change before election day they can't form a government. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK CITIZEN WHO GAVE HIS NAME AS PETROS SAYING: "They have to be punished." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK CITIZEN GEORGE EKSIDAVELONIS SAYING: "They have completely lost our trust. My vote will be a reactionary vote, I will vote for a smaller party, so that they can learn to appreciate the public." A collection of those smaller parties who reject the bailout terms agreed by the current government have seen their popularity soar. Papademos must convince voters the pain is worthwhile. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER LUCAS PAPADEMOS, SAYING: "Greece is in the middle of a difficult journey. The social and economic cost is heavy. Exhaustion, disenchantment, in some cases indignation, are understandable and on some occasions justified, in particular when the burden is not shared fairly." As it battles massive debt, Greece took a second bailout from the EU and IMF in return for dramatic cut backs in public spending. The snap election has already worried the country's international lenders who want any future government to stick to those cuts. Greece's current finance minister says the country's euro zone membership could be at stake. Andrew Potter, Reuters