Archive for April 12, 2012

“The people will choose the forces that lead the way which ensures our country’s stay in the European Union and the euro”. Lucas Papademos, Greece’s interim prime minister, called for snap elections yesterday, opening the way for a contest without a definitive result till the 6th of May…

According to the latest public opinion survey eight parties would enter the next parliament:  Conservative Nea Dimokratia 18,2%, socialist PASOK 14,2%, Communist KKE 8%, Independent Greeks 7%, left SYRIZA 6,2%, Democratic Left 5,9%, far-right LAOS 4%, extreme-right Chrysi Aygi 3,1%.

Furthermore, while the majority of respondents seem to prefer Nea Dimokratia, 24,3% consider ex Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos(PASOK leader) as the most suitable PM and 23,8% Antonis Samaras (ND leader). Apart from that, 63,3% want a coalition government, while 28,1% want one-party government. The most expected of all is that an overwhelming majority, 84,9%, declare that they will go to cast votes, while 13% say they will abstain from the elections.

The polls reflect the augmented public anger and social unrest against the politicians who approved austerity measures and are perceived as having created the dysfunctional state that lead to the conditions for the debt crisis. In addition, they declare undoubtedly that the two parties in the interim government have lost major support, despite the fact that in the last election of 2009, they polled almost 80%.

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-An internationally brokered ceasefire in Syria is only being “partially observed”, the opposition says, as state television reported that a roadside bomb had killed an army officer.

-A 6.9-magnitude earthquake has struck in the Gulf of California close to the Mexican state of Baja California, according to the US Geological Survey.

-The first opportunity for North Korea to launch its controversial rocket passed uneventfully, keeping the region on tenterhooks for at least another day.

-The day after a snap election was formally set for May 6, two surveys in Greece will fuel concern among the country’s international lenders who want a future government to stick to belt-tightening policies.

-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for more support from other European leaders, urging them not to talk up Spain’s financial struggles. His remarks followed reports that Italy’s premier had blamed renewed debt market tension on Spain’s battles to cut its deficit.

-Mali’s new interim president vowed that he would not let the country be split by rebels as he was sworn today, restoring the country to civilian rule after a brief military coup.

-Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has returned home after a visit to Singapore that fuelled rumours about the 88-year-old leader’s state of health.

-A Cezanne painting stolen in a raid on a Swiss museum in 2008 has been recovered in Serbia. Authorities have not named the painting, but local media have reported it is The Boy in the Red Vest, which was taken from Zurich’s Emil Buehrle Collection.

-The president of Uefa has hit out at “bandits and crooks” for the escalation of Ukrainian hotel prices ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships.Speaking in Lviv, one of the venues, Michel Platini said the rising cost of accommodation worried him, and called on the authorities to prevent it.

Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ

 

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Posted: April 12, 2012 in Linkin'

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