Euro election television debate a drab draw

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The only televised debate that will take place before the June 7 European parliamentary election among the leaders of the five parliamentary parties passed off without any major incident or surprises and is not likely to have helped the one in 10 Greek voters who remain undecided to make up their minds.None of the leaders made any slip-ups but the carefully measured nature of their answers did not allow much room for mistakes.Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos proved the most animated, as in the debate before the general election in 2007, but his attempts to engage Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in debate were frustrated by the strict format of the process.Following a format that did not allow for any actual discussion between the five leaders, six journalists put questions to the politicians on a range of subjects that were connected to European policy but whose answers invariably had to do with domestic issues.Greek Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis accepted that his government had made mistakes but stated that a vote for New Democracy is a vote for responsibility while PASOK leader, George Papandreou called for a vote for PASOK to change the way the country is governed.Karamanlis chose to use the two minutes that were allocated to him to attack PASOK, repeating the message that voters are faced with the choice between “responsibility or irresponsibility.”Karamanlis accepted that his government had made mistakes. “I feel it is my duty to adopt policies knowing that I will have to bear the political cost,” said Karamanlis. “We have great potential but we also have weaknesses and chronic failings.”The prime minister refused to accept that any members of his administration had knowingly attempted to defraud the state during the Vatopedi Monastery property exchange.George Papandreou highlighted the government’s failings and unveiled the Socialists’ new slogan: “Either we change or we sink. Either we continue down this dead-end road with policies that are unfair and unequal, or we change direction and we head along the path of green development and redistribution of wealth,” he said.The debate was hosted by the evening news anchor of the Greek national TV NET, Maria Houkli, and the questions were asked by six journalists from the biggest Greek commercial and public channels. The questions that were grouped in six categories – European and foreign policy, Economics and development, Social politics and employment, Education, Environment and Governmental administration.last_img

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