NEWS

Greeks against Iraq mission

Most Greeks feel the United Nations should be responsible for the reconstruction of Iraq and that the United States, which caused the damage, should foot most of the bill, according to a Europe-wide survey made public on Monday. The Eurobarometer poll found that Greeks generally fell in with European norms regarding these matters, but differed considerably when it came to the question of the legitimacy of the US and British invasion of Iraq. Some 96 percent of all Greeks said there was no excuse for the attack, compared to an average 68 percent among other Europeans, while only 4 percent said they considered the invasion legitimate. Greeks were also among the most fervent opponents of sending troops to help with the US-led occupation of Iraq. Only 29 percent said they agreed with sending Greek troops to help keep the peace in Iraq (the EU average in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq was 44 percent), and 70 percent came out against the notion. Only in Germany were people more strongly opposed to sending a national military contingent to swell the occupation forces, with 71 percent of all respondents dismissing the notion. The survey, carried out between October 8-16 in all 15 EU member states, established that 42 percent of Greek respondents thought the United Nations should have the responsibility for rebuilding Iraq. Some 32 percent said the provisional Iraqi government should be given the job, while 21 percent nominated the EU and 20 percent indicated the United States. Some 61 percent said the US should pay for Iraq’s reconstruction, followed by the UN (34 percent) and the EU (19 percent). And 52 percent said Greece should contribute funds to the effort.