Candidates try to break Greek poll deadlock

Chris Papadopoullos
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Alexis Tsipras tried to convince voters the economy would grow under its new bailout
GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and opposition leader Vangelis Meimarakis traded blows in a TV debate last night, the outcome of which could prove decisive in a close election race.

Sunday’s snap election in Greece is shaping up to be a close affair, with polls showing both main parties are neck-and-neck. One recent poll conducted by Public Issue for Avgi newspaper showed both parties’ ratings on 31 per cent.

“This debate is crucial mainly because of the big number of undecided voters and those who don’t want to vote,” said Dimitris Mavros of pollsters MRB. “The question is who will be more convincing.”

New Democracy leader Meimarakis said Tsipras had “brought destruction in this country”. Meimarakis’ approval ratings have soared since Greece was hit with capital controls under Tsipras, who also backtracked on election promises to end the country’s bailout agreement.

Tsipras tried to persuade voters that Greece still had a bright future despite him signing off an unpopular new bailout deal.