INTRODUCTION: Political parties in Greece have begun their campaigns for November's elections, the first since 1977.
***CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY***
SV People marching through street carrying red flags.
TOP VIEW Crowd outside stadium
GV PAN Large crowd seated inside stadium.
SV Large Communist banner and crowd.
SV Charilaos Florakis, Secretary General and leader of Greek Communist Party receives cheers from crowd.
CU Florakis speaking to crowds in Greek.
Background: INTRODUCTION: Political parties in Greece have begun their campaigns for November's elections, the first since 1977. Little separates the two big parties, the ruling New Democrats and the Socialist Pasok party. Observers say a coalition government is a possibility. The prospect of power sharing has stirred the Greek Communist Party to renewed efforts to attract voters to its cause.
SYNOPSIS: These supporters of the Communist party marched through Athens on Wednesday (8 July) on their way to the Appolon football stadium to hear a speech by party leader Charilaos Florakis.
The party already have 11 deputies in the Greek parliament. At the last election about 10 per cent of the population voted Communist. This time there are more than 700,000 new voters. Their support would help Mr. Florakis's party to increase their seats in parliament. And it would also lend credibility to them for a greater say in Greek affairs.
Mr. Florakis, a forceful public speaker, has been encouraged by the recent political developments in France. There, Communist politicians were drafted into the government after the election victory of Socialist Francois Mitterrand. Whoever wins in Greece next November will still have to solve the same problems. Inflation is running at about 25 per cent and low tax receipts are hitting government finances.