Athens Digest 28.06.2019

• New Democracy holds on to big lead as parties line up final week of campaigning

• Mitsotakis vows to scrap police ban at university campuses. No corrective measures needed for 2019, he says

• Parties fail to agree on TV debate rules


# New Democracy has a 9-point lead and remains on course for victory without the need of a coalition partner, according to an opinion poll for Skai television published last night. The Pulse survey gave the conservatives 36 percent estimated support with Syriza at 27 percent. The movement for Change was at 7 percent and the Greek Communist Party, KKE, at 5 percent while Golden Dawn has dropped to 4 percent. The far-right Greek Solution party and Varoufakis’ MeRA25 were both at 3.5 percent. Pulse’s projections gave New Democracy more than 150 seats with five, six, or seven parties reaching the next parliament.

# Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has vowed to scrap a campus ban on police if he wins the general election. Under the current system, police cannot enter university grounds without permission from academic authorities, which is rarely given. As a result, certain universities, in Athens and other cities serve as marshaling points for self-styled anarchists and for outdoor bazaars of bootleg goods, tobacco products, and even narcotics. Mitsotakis also vowed to amend _right after being elected_ recent changes to the criminal code, and introduce swift governance reforms that mostly concern local government.

# In a radio interview, Mitsotakis also said no corrective measures would be needed to meet 2019 budget targets agreed with lenders. He also repeated his pledge to slash business taxes and property tax, insisting that his aggressive reform programme would allow for negotiations to reduce Greece’s high primary surplus commitments. “With a wave of reforms, modernisation of the administration, simplification of the administrative environment, interventions in education and public health, we will very quickly build the credibility we need in order to be able _  soon but not immediately _ to go to Europe and seek a reduction of the primary surpluses,” he told Skai radio.



On our Radar: No Debate
Greece’s main parties have failed to agree on the format of an election debate _ with the prospects of an 11th hour deal now widely seen as dead. A committee formed to organise the televised event failed to reach an agreement at a third meeting of party representatives yesterday. The governing Syriza party reportedly wanted a debate between Prime Minister Tsipras and opposition leader Mitsotakis, while New Democracy insisted that other party leaders should also be present.