NEWS

Suffering Greeks blame the State

The majority of Greeks find the State to blame for their daily travails and they also believe that the economy was in better shape in the past, a recent poll shows. According to the findings of a poll conducted by Kappa Research for a news show of state-run NET television, 43.1 percent of those polled said the economy deteriorated year by year, while another 37.4 percent declared every time a new budget was brought before Parliament, they knew that nothing would change for the better. Only 16.5 percent declared that the budget made them feel the economy was on the right track. The poll, which covered a wide range of topics, revealed that people hold the State responsible for the problems which they face on a daily basis, such as crowded trains, buses and roads, though they also have a bone to pick with fellow citizens over matters of public hygiene. 47.9 percent feel irritation when they see a politician speeding through traffic in a motorcade with a police escort during rush hour when the streets are jammed, while 30.3 percent deem it something natural. At the same time, 65.7 percent say that when they come across torn trash bags in a street, they blame unscrupulous fellow citizens, and not the mayor. In a response on the lack of parking spaces in the city, 33.1 percent declared that after circling around the block for some 10 times to find a parking space, they blamed the State for not building any car parks, while 23.7 percent considered using public transportation next time. Asked to respond on what their reaction would be when, after waiting for a bus, subway train, or a trolley for a long time, it arrived chock full, 44.6 percent said they would blame the State for poor public services, while 3.3 percent declared they would take the issue to the media. But what if a close relative needs urgent medical attention, possibly admission into intensive care? In this case, 46.1 percent said they would try to find a friend working at the hospital to ensure that their relatives received the best possible treatment, 18.1 percent would be willing to give money under the table to get the best medical care, while 32.6 would follow the prescribed procedures. The government also appears to be responsible when a small group of protesters blocks a road, creating a traffic jam, as 25 percent of those polled said that if they were held up in traffic, they would blame the State, while another 35.8 said that they would wait patiently until the road was cleared. Finally, with respect to the recent protest rallies by many farmers, 56.9 percent said that they were opposed to the blocking of national roads, but another 30 percent accepted the blocking of roads on the grounds that nothing happens without pressure.