Athens Digest 04.07.2019

• New poll gives conservatives 155-seat minimum

• Debt rally rolls on ahead of election day

• Govt: Greece to retain migration Commissioner

• Skills shortage widespread despite graduate glut

# A new poll has given Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy a minimum projection of 155 seats in the next parliament and a lead returning close to double digits. The Open TV-commissioned survey by Alco gave New Democracy a projected 34 percent of voter support, followed by Syriza with 24.3 percent. In third place was the Movement for Change with 7 percent, followed by KKE with 4.3 percent, Golden Dawn with 3.6 percent, and the Greek Solution with 3.1 percent. Varoufakis’ MeRA 25 was found below the threshold with 2.6 percent and undecided voted up to 11.8 percent. Seat projections for New Democracy in the 300-member parliament ranged between 155 to 165.

# Greek debt continued an astonishing rally with the yield at the latest six-month T-Bill auction tumbling to 0.23 percent. The Public Debt Management Agency saidGreece raised EUR 1.625 billion in the auction, with the yield dropping from 0.41 percent on June 5. In bond markets, the 10-year yield dropped further to 2.054 percent.

# The government claims it has received assurances from European leaders that the next Greek Commissioner will retain the migration portfolio. Government officials said Prime Minister Tsipras_ who left the EU Summit to continue his campaign_ spoke with several European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the nomination was finalised for German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen to be the next president of the European Commission. Nevertheless, it is an issue that will be discussed with the new government. According to recent report, a New Democracy victory in Sunday’s elections would likely see the nomination of former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras to replace Dimitris Avramopoulos as Commissioner.

On our Radar: Skills Drought 
Despite Greece’s glut of university graduates and stubbornly high unemployment rates, many local businesses are unable to fill skilled positions. The Greek Federation of Enterprises, SEV, reported in a survey that more than one-in-three Greek production businesses (35.6 percent) had hiring difficulties due to skills shortages. That rate rose to 45.9 percent for export companies and 44.7 percent for large enterprises. Per sector, the shortages were: Energy 49.2 percent, IT 41.4 percent, logistics 29.6 percent, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals 28.4 percent.