Bloomberg News

Papandreou’s EU Deal Seen Negative by Most Greeks, Poll Shows

October 31, 2011

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Most Greeks believe the latest European Union accord on a new bailout package and a debt writedown for the country is negative, an opinion poll showed.

Forty-four percent of 1,009 people surveyed on Oct. 27, the day the agreement was announced, said the decision was negative and another 15 percent said it was “probably” negative, according to the results of the Kapa Research SA poll, published in To Vima newspaper.

European Union leaders carved out the second aid package for Greece at a summit in Brussels lasting into the early hours of Oct. 27 and boosted the capacity of the region’s rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion). Greece’s 130 billion euros in public funding plus a 50 percent writedown on Greek debt follows a fully taxpayer-funded package of 110 billion euros extended in May 2010.

Almost 76 percent said Prime Minister George Papandreou should seek an enhanced majority of 180 votes in Parliament if the new agreement is to be brought to the legislature for approval. Most said the agreement should be put to a referendum, the poll showed. Forty-six percent said they’d vote against the plan at a referendum.

The reworked deal on Greece will cut the debt ratio to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020 from a forecast of about 170 percent for next year. Papandreou is struggling to convince Greeks to continue to support his efforts to revamp the economy.

Debt Ratio

Papandreou, who now has 153 seats in the 300-seat parliament, won approval for a new round of pension and wage cuts on Oct. 20 to secure the aid, amid protests that left one person dead. It was the second set of austerity measures in four months to prompt a near-rebellion in Papandreou’s party and violence in the streets.

More than a third of those questioned said early elections should be held, while 55 percent said they’d like to see political parties cooperating. More than seven in 10 said they wanted Greece to remain in the euro.

Lucas Papademos, the former vice-president of the European Central Bank, was tapped as the most suitable to head a possible “national salvation” government, according to the poll.

The main opposition party of New Democracy, led by Antonis Samaras, would receive 22 percent of the vote in elections, with Papandreou’s Pasok party receiving 14.7 percent. More than 26 percent of voters said they were undecided on who to vote for. The margin of error is 3.09 percentage points.

--Editors: Kenneth Wong, Stephen Cunningham

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Petrakis in Athens at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net


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