Greeks appear unconvinced by the government’s narrative that it has fought harder in negotiations with the country’s creditors to secure better terms than any other administration could have accomplished.
In a new poll by the University of Macedonia published by Skai late on Monday, 40 percent of respondents said they believe the measures agreed by the left-led government of Alexis Tsipras (2015-2017) to be the toughest yet. The second-toughest agreement, according to 17.5 percent of respondents, was that introduced by George Papandreou (2010-2011) and the third, at 13.5 percent, that by the Antonis Samaras government (2012-2015).
The large majority of Greeks credit the current government with two memorandums, as 78 percent believe the new raft of measures passed through Parliament constitutes a fourth bailout deal with creditors. Moreover, just 18 percent are confident these measures will help the country exit the crisis and 82 percent see them harming their personal income significantly or to some degree.
Pessimism seems to be running high overall, with 85.5 percent of respondents saying they see little to be hopeful about in the near future and just 9.5 percent believe things are moving in the right direction. Meanwhile, 69 percent see their household’s economic situation deteriorating further over the next 12 months.
The government’s pledge to introduce countermeasures offsetting the effects of more austerity also seems to be getting short shrift from citizens, as 79.5 percent believe these promises to be a public relations stunt and just 10 percent see them as offering some hope for the future. In fact, 83.5 percent of respondents said they do not believe they will benefit at all or slightly from these measures.
Public reactions to ongoing debt talks are also lackluster to say the least, as 73.5 of respondents in the University of Macedonia poll said the government is not handling negotiations on this particular issue well and just 19 percent believe it is doing a good job.
As far as voting intentions go, the main opposition New Democracy continues to maintain a significant lead over ruling SYRIZA with 32.5 and 16.5 respectively. The Greek Communist Party (KKE) and far-right Golden Dawn tie in third place with 7.5 percent each, followed by PASOK at 5.5 percent. The Union of Centrists, junior coalition partner Independent Greeks, Antarsya and To Potami came in below the 3-percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.
When it comes to who would make the best prime minister, 30 percent of respondents opted for conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and 19 percent for Tsipras, though a sizeable 49 percent said “neither.”