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  • New poll finds generalised malaise among Greeks

    A biannual survey conducted by MRB graphically portrays the sense of disappointment that is prevalent among Greeks, along with a strong sense of fear and insecurity.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    A biannual survey conducted by MRB graphically portrays the sense of disappointment that is prevalent among Greeks, along with a strong sense of fear and insecurity.

    The vast majority of respondents, a whopping 87.2 percent, believes that the situation will develop quite or very badly in the future.

    Perhaps more ominously, a majority of the youth of Greece has considered emigrating from the country.

    Unemployment and taxes

    A majority of Greeks, according to the poll, believe the top three problems the country faces are unemployment, with 65.3 percent, the tax burden, with 47.3 percent, and healthcare problems, with 35.2 percent.

    Although negative sentiments overall have dropped somewhat since last similar poll six months ago, 59.4 percent of respondents said that they harbour rage, 49.7 percent say they feel shame, and 38.6 percent feel fear.

    Only 20.5 percent said that they feel hopeful, just 6.4 percent said they have a sense of pride, and only four percent said they have a sense of certainty.

    Small expectations

    In terms of expectations, a majority of citizens associate the country’s future with additional fiscal belt-tightening, beyond what has already been agreed to between the government and its creditors.

    In this sense, 61.2 percent are indifferent to the government’s arguments about recovery, and 38.1 percent say it is fairly likely that additional austerity measures will be taken, but only 23.1 percent see such an eventuality as quite likely.

    Still, 27.4 percent of respondents appear to espouse the government’s positive narrative. Of these, 19.5 percent see a slight likelihood of additional austerity measures, but only 7.9 percent view that as not at all likely.

    Greek youth in despair

    The exceptionally disturbing finding in the poll is that young people, in the most productive age brackets, see no prospects for themselves in the country.

    Over one-third, or 34.3 percent, say they would leave Greece if they found an opportunity.

    The vast majority of those between the ages of 18 and 24’years old, a huge 70.2 percent would emigrate if they had the chance, and 49.8 percent of youth between the ages of 25 and 34 would leave.

    Negative views of government, opposition

    Nearly eight in ten Greeks, or 78.4 percent, have a negative view of the government.

    But even main opposition New Democracy, which appears to have cemented at least a ten percentage point lead over Syriza, was given a negative rating by 66 percent of respondents.

    In term of voter intention in recent polls, New Democracy garners between 33 percent and 37.4 percent, an average of 35.2 percent, while voter support for Syriza ranges between 22.4 percent and 26.4 percent, with a 24.4 percent average.

    The results appear positive for the newfangled, centre-left Movement for Change party, which draws between 10.1 percent and 13.1 percent, with an average of 11.6 percent, which analysts believe may be enough to give the party the role of kingmaker after the next general elections.

    Bailout exit predictions do not persuade

    Although the government has been touting a clean exit from bailout memorandums after the end of the current programme in August, 2018, about 60 percent of respondents believe Greece will need an additional, fourth bailout programme then.

    In terms of the breakdown, 18.8 percent said a new memorandum will definitely be needed, 39.4 percent said it would likely be needed, while 27.1 percent believe it will not be required.

    Pessimism over debt restructuring

    Nearly two-thirds of citizens, or 65.8 percent, are pessimistic about the prospect of Greece reaching a debt relief deal with its creditors

    Regarding the by now infamous, abortive deal for Greece to sell munitions to Saudi Arabia through a middleman, the majority of respondents considered the affair a significant problem for the government. Only 8.6 percent believe the scandal charges to be unfounded, while 15.6 percent replied that they did not know or refused to answer.

    Aris Ravanos

    International
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