NEWS

More than half of Greeks welcome new PM

More than half the Greek public has a positive view of the country?s new prime minister, former European Central Bank governor Lucas Papademos with only two in 10 expressing a negative opinion about this abilities and prosp,ects, according to a new poll published in Sunday?s Kathimerini.

A total of 55 percent of respondents welcomed Papademos? appointment to the helm of the country?s new coalition government while 18 percent had a negative outlook, according to the poll carried out by Public Issue for Skai and Kathimerini.

Supporters of Socialist PASOK were particularly keen on the choice of Papademos with seven in 10 of those questioned saying they welcomed it and six in 10 of respondents who traditionally support the rightwing Laos ? the third party in the coalition ? expressing a positive opinion. Of the supporters of conservative New Democracy, 56 percent said they welcomed Papademos as premier.

Public opinion of Parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos, the parliament speaker whose candidacy for the premier?s role had provoked upheaval among MPs, was less receptive with only 25 percent of those questioned expressing a positive view and 57 percent a negative outlook.

As regards the former banker?s potential for managing the country?s dire finances, 45 percent of respondents said they trusted him to do so although a hardly insignificant 35 percent said they did not believe he could tackle the problem.

The Public Issue poll found that 60 percent of respondents do not believe the country?s two largest parties ? PASOK and ND ? can tackle the country?s problems. Just over half (54 percent) of those polled said they believed early elections were necessary. If snap polls were to be held now neither of the two main parties would emerge with enough of the popular vote to form a majority government, according to the poll which found that 28.5 percent would vote for ND, 19.5 percent for PASOK and 12 percent for the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with the Communist Party (KKE) garnering 11 percent, the rightwing LAOS 8.5 percent, the Democratic Left 7.5 percent and the Ecologist Greens 3.5 percent. The Public Issue poll found that the Democratic Alliance — led by former conservative foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis ? would not enter Parliament garnering 2.5 percent of the vote, half a percentage point below the 3-percent minimum threshold required. Nearly three in 10 voters (or 27 percent) said they would not cast ballots.

As regards the popularity of party leaders, George Papandreou as the leader of PASOK got the nod from just 19 percent of respondents with ND leader Antonis Samaras getting the approval of 33 percent, LAOS leader Giorgos Karatzaferis 41 percent, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras 38 percent and Aleka Papariga 27 percent. Asked which of the party leaders would make the best prime minister, 61 percent said none of them with 28 percent opting for Samaras and just 11 percent for Papandreou.

The survey also asked respondents what they believed were the country?s biggest problems. Six in 10 (58 percent) said the economy, 34 percent rising unemployment with 29 percent saying that Greek politicians and the political system were the country?s biggest burden.

Following Papandreou?s resignation, 15 percent believe that the country is going in the right direction with 77 percent saying it is going in the wrong direction. Before Papandreou?s resignation just 8 percent believed things were on track with 86 percent saying Greece was going in the wrong direction.

Just 9 percent of citizens feel a sense of security in society with 89 percent declaring the opposite.