- Title: GREECE: Opposition leader George Papandreou votes in election
- Date: 5th October 2009
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (OCTOBER 4 2009) (REUTERS) OPPOSITION LEADER GEORGE PAPANDREOU ARRIVING AT VOTING STATION SURROUNDED BY SUPPORTERS, HOLDING RED ROSE STEM
- Embargoed: 20th October 2009 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA641QPHKLKYA09NEZ9FBEL2L5
- Story Text: Opposition party leader George Papandreou said on Sunday (October 4) he was bringing a message of hope for change and was ready to take on the large responsibility of leading the country as he cast his ballot in national elections.
Papandreou said he will base his economy on a green growth plan, investing in the environment and the country's human capacity as well as its traditions.
"Its a message of hope for change, for a more just society, for a more democratic society, for a more transparent society, where our citizens are empowered and feel creative for the future." he said, adding, "we are going to go to a new era of green development for the type of economy, but we will see in the future, a different type of energy, and basing our economy investing in human capacity and in our environment and tradition. We have a large responsibility and we are ready to take it on."
The opposition PASOK party was leading by six percent in opinion polls last published on September 19 against the governing New Democracy party of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
It is the third time Papandreou has been in the race against Karamanlis after becoming president of the party in 2004. New Democracy won in 2004 and again in 2007 by a slim majority.
The son of former prime minister Andreas Papandreou, George Papandreou has offered a different program to tackle the economy, voters main concern in the elections in the midst of the global crisis.
Weakened by scandals and a fragile parliamentary majority, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called the snap poll in September, gambling that his conservative New Democracy party had a better chance now than it would later in his four-year term.
Opinion polls have shown a majority of Greece's nearly 10 million voters have not been convinced by his call for two years of austerity to put the slowing economy back on track, to include a public sector wage and hiring freeze.
PASOK's leader George Papandreou has offered a very different strategy, promising a stimulus package for the economy on a ticket of taxing the rich and helping the poor.
If the PASOK does not get an outright majority, it has said it will call another election in which it would have an advantage with a 10-seat bonus, but which would take at least another 30 days.
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