Most Greeks want deal with EU/IMF lenders and no referendum, poll shows

Greeks want their government to make a deal with international lenders to unlock aid and do not favour early elections or a referendum if talks hit an impasse, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday.

The survey by pollster GPO for Mega TV showed that 75.6 percent believe the government, elected after promising to challenge budget cuts, must strike a deal at any cost with its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund to stay in the euro. Only 22.8 percent disagreed.

Cut off from markets, Greece is fast running out of cash to pay salaries, service loans and redeem maturing debt and has only days left to reach a cash-for-reforms deal, eurozone officials said on Wednesday.

The poll showed that 58.3 percent supported the strategy followed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in negotiations with lenders while 39.8 percent disapproved.

But 72.2 percent do not want early elections if talks hit a dead end while 61.9 percent believe that if a deal is clinched it should not be put to a referendum.

Earlier this week Tsipras said he would have to resort to a popular referendum if lenders insisted on demands that his government deems unacceptable, although he was confident of striking a deal.

About 100 days after gaining power on Jan. 25, the Syriza-led government maintains a strong lead over the conservative opposition despite the lack of agreement so far with creditors to avert a default.

The survey showed the leftists would garner 36.5 percent of the vote if elections were held now, with the New Democracy conservatives trailing with 22 percent.

Five in 10 Greeks took a positive view of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis who has resisted international pressure for painful changes such as selling off state assets and relaxing labour laws.


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