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Most Finns want Greece out of eurozone

A majority of Finns want Greece to leave the eurozone, a study conducted by Finnish pollster Think If Laboratories showed on Monday.

A total of 56 percent of the 1,819 people questioned said Greece should leave the euro while 21 percent opposed the idea, and 23 percent of respondents were undecided, according to the survey.

”Finns are clearly dubious about the way the ongoing crisis is being handled. The findings are indicative of a deep distrust in Greece’s ability to manage its economy,” Juhana Aunesluoma, the director of the University of Helsinki’s Network for European Studies, told AFP.

According to Aunesluoma, ”Greece’s membership in the single currency will be costly. Finns understand that Greece’s woes will have an impact on Finnish finances as well. However, Finns seem to like the euro, but take issue with some of its members.” A separate poll last week showed that 58 percent of Finns supported Finland’s membership in the eurozone, 32 percent opposed it and 10 percent were undecided.

Already 10 years ago, many in Finland were highly skeptical of Greece’s membership in the euro and the recent findings confirm that Finnish attitudes toward the southern European state have not changed, Aunesluoma said.

Greece’s financial problems have driven speculation that it may drop the euro and return to the weaker drachma. Leaders and companies are reportedly preparing for the country’s possible eurozone exit.

Finland, one of only a few EU countries to enjoy a triple-A credit rating, was an outspoken critic of the EU’s second rescue package for Greece amid public reluctance to bail out countries largely perceived as having mismanaged public finances.

Helsinki only agreed to take part after striking a collateral deal with Athens in October 2011.

Finland joined the EU in 1995, and has used the single currency since its introduction in the eurozone in 2002.

Monday’s poll was commissioned by Finnish television station MTV3 and conducted May 24-29. The margin of error was three percent. [AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Monday June 4, 2012 (17:09)  
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