European Elections: Greens wind up on defiant note

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THE Green Party yesterday wound up a campaign conducted out of the limelight with an appeal to voters to think how the growth-orientated polices of the main 'grey parties' had improved the quality of life.

As Andy Hawthorn of the New Age band The Levellers put it at the Greens' final press conference: 'Everywhere I look, a work harder- buy more superficial rubbish culture is being forced down our throats. I see stressed, unhappy people - and those are the successful ones.'

The Greens are resigned to not achieving the 15 per cent of the poll they netted in 1989 on the crest of a wave of public concern for the environment. But in thinly attended press conferences they have argued that without a significant Green vote, the other parties will shelve the green- tinged policies they adopted post-1989.

Underlining the anti-Maastricht stance of all the European Green parties, John Cornford, the party's principal speaker, said: 'The other three parties have driven us to the brink of a new Europe of unelected rulers, powerless citizens and rapidly worsening social, economic and environmental conditions.

'New technology should have improved our lives immensely. Instead we are suffering from more pollution, more poverty, more unemployment and more crime.' A Green vote would be for a Europe based on economic security rather than 'blind economic growth'.

Jean Lambert, chair of the Green Party's national executive, attacked the main parties for turning the election campaign into a referendum on John Major's premiership.