Work, cash, security top our worries

Greeks worry above all about unemployment, poverty and crime, and have deep confidence in the armed forces, the legal system and the police, according to a Eurobarometer poll made public yesterday. The special Eurobarometer report on Greece, which was carried out between October 1 and November 7, also found that Greeks have the worst opinion of the United States in all the European Union. Some 85 percent said the US plays a negative role in the establishment of world peace (the EU average was 53 percent) and 75 percent shared that view on America’s contribution to fighting terrorism. According to the survey, Greeks share the gloomiest outlook on the future with the Portuguese and the former East Germans. Some 23 percent of the 1,000 people polled said they expected their life to get worse in the immediate future, 47 percent said their family finances would get no better and 56 percent predicted that the national economy would deteriorate. Asked to name the country’s main problem, 65 percent pointed to unemployment. Next came the state finances (32 percent), crime (27 percent), the rise in prices (18 percent), the health system (18 percent), education (9 percent) and pensions (9 percent). Unlike other Europeans, only 4 percent of Greeks listed terrorism as a problem. The EU average was 12 percent. Asked to name trusted institutions, 83 percent listed the armed forces. The EU average was 64 percent. Next came the judicial and legal system (68 percent), the police (67 percent) and the European Union itself (65 percent). On the other hand, 50 percent voiced suspicion of the government – as against 47 percent who expressed trust – and only 20 percent said they trusted Greece’s political parties. Greeks also came out as strong backers of the country’s EU membership, with 75 percent saying Greece has benefited from the Union. This was the second highest approval rate for the EU, after Ireland’s 82 percent.