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With Syriza Leading By 7 Points, Greek Incumbents Fear-Monger Looming "Toilet-Paper-Run"

Left-wing anti-EU party Syriza has extended its lead over incumbent Nea Dimokratia (ND) to 7 percentage points in the polls ahead of tomorrow's crucial Greek election. As Keep Talking Greece reports, To Potami and Golden Dawn (the neo-Nazi party that is facing charges for being a "criminal organization") are running 3rd with 6-7% of the vote (Syriza 33.5%, ND 26.5%) and with 20% admitting they had changed their opinion about which party to vote for in the pre-election period, it appears ND incumbents have taken up the "Scotland" strategy - fearmongery. Speaking on Greek TV, just 48 hours before the elections, ND-candidate Sofia Voultepsi implied that if Syriza wins the elections and forms a government on Monday Greeks will run out of toilet paper... and with JPMorgan noting that deposit outflows hit EUR8bn last week (double the previous 2 weeks combined), the "bank run" could easily morph into Venezuelan "toilet paper runs."

As Keep Talking Greece explains,

If SYRIZA wins the elections and forms a government on Monday Greeks will run will run out of toilet paper. This is what ND-candidate Sofia Voultepsi implied just 48 hours before the elections.

 

“bank run”  vs “toilet paper run”?

 

Speaking to Mega TV on Friday morning, former government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi claimed:

 

“People believe that bankruptcy is what we experience now. Bankruptcy is when imports, fuel, raw materials and medicines are being immediately stopped.  This is something we have seen in Cyprus,  in Venezuela, in Argentina.”

 

When one of the news magazine anchors intervened and commented that “what you say sounds as if we will not have toilet paper,” Voultepsi replied:

 

“No, there is no toilet paper in Argentina and Venezuela. Therefore, I recommend, you do your supplies.”

 

...

 

In spite of the Nea Dimokratia fear-mongering elections strategy of “SYRIZA = default”, it is not helping the party of PM Antonis Samaras to raise its rates in polls, ND seems to have run out of convincing arguments and keeps chewing the same old candy...

And JPMorgan is seeing the other type of "run" accelerating...

As election looms, Greece sees large €8B deposit outflow this week vs €4B in first two weeks of January and €.3B in December.

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As Bloomberg notes, Syriza's success (or failure) will foreshadow the future of anti-austerity movements elsewhere in Europe.

The Greek vote is being closely watched in Spain, where the anti-austerity Podemos party is now running ahead of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's party before a general election later this year. Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias even joined Tsipras at a rally in Athens this week. The government in Madrid has been scrambling to reassure markets that the situation in Greece won't spread to their country. Spain and Greece are "totally different," Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told Bloomberg Television today in Davos.

 

The bailed-out economies of Ireland and Portugal also have growing anti-austerity movements. "If a new Greek government wins concessions, then Ireland and Portugal would be first in the queue looking for similar treatment, and other countries would be looking for leeway in meeting EU targets," columnist Cliff Taylor wrote in the Irish Times earlier this month.  But leaders of those movements will have a hard time making their case to voters  if Tsipras, Europe's No. 1 anti-austerity poster boy,  steps back from confrontation.

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