|Thursday, 21 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OPINION POLL: RULLING PARTY SHOWS LEAD AGAINST RIVALAthens, 1 January 2006 (11:22 UTC+2)
The ruling New Democracy (ND) party showed a lead of 1.2 percentage points against the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), according to a nationwide opinion poll released on Saturday.
Respondents gave ND 32.4% of voter preference against 31.2% for PASOK in the telephone poll conducted by Kapa Research and published in the Sunday Vima newspaper.
Following were the Communist Party of Greece at 6.8%; the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology 3.7%; LAOS 5.3%; other smaller parties 2.8%; blank or invalid 6.2%; and undecided, 9.4%.
Most likely to win the next national elections were ND, according to 43.1% of people polled; and 16% believed that PASOK would win.
Favourite for the post of prime minister was current ND premier Costas Karamanlis, who garnered 47.6% of the vote, followed by PASOK leader George Papandreou with 32.7%. Stating that neither was the right person for the job were 18.8% of respondents, according to the survey.
Asked to comment on a possible government reshuffle, 69.7% wanted to see a smaller cabinet with 61% hoping for a radical change in personnel.
Another 61% of respondents said that a reshuffle would fail to solve the country's problems as the root of the issue was policy not personnel; and 41.1% noted that ministers were not to blame, but rather the prime minister's inability to coordinate the government.
Stating that the prime minister and his government should lay emphasis on unemployment were 79.6% of voters. Other priorities were the absorbtion of European Union funds (32.5%); attracting foreign investment (27.3%); corruption (24.6%); and deficit-reduction (24.3%).
To blame for the state of the economy was the government's PASOK predecessor, according to 43.4% of respondents, with 9.7% holding the current ND government responsible, the poll showed.
Reactions from two main parties
Asked to comment on ND's relatively small lead over PASOK, the party's honourary president, Constantine Mitsotakis, said that the second year in office for any government was difficult as policy had yet to bear fruit.
In addition, the present government had inherited difficulties from its predecessor, Mitsotakis added.
PASOK secretary Mariliza Xenoyiannokopoulou said in a separate statement that the party was continuing to gain public confidence by offering an alternative, progressive policy for the country.
 POLICE NAB FUGITIVE WHO AIDED MURDERER'S ESCAPEAthens, 1 January 2006 (18:17 UTC+2)
A fugitive who helped a fellow prisoner to evade arrest after shooting two police officers to death was captured on Sunday, police said.
Ilmi Dada, a 17-year-old Albanian national, was spotted 12 kilometres from the scene of Friday's crime near Kalambaka following a two-day manhunt.
Dada, who offered no resistance, is being held for questioning at Trikala police station.
Still wanted is Russian national Maxim Zhilim, 23, after he killed two policemen who were escorting the prisoners from a police detention centre in Ioannina to jails elsewhere in the country.