Poll shows most Greeks still reject FYROM deal; ND lead over SYRIZA steady

Poll shows most Greeks still reject FYROM deal; ND lead over SYRIZA steady

Most Greeks still reject the agreement which Athens struck with Skopje to settle the decades-old name row with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.

The survey, carried out by MARC polling firm and published in Proto Thema newspaper, revealed that 64.5 percent of Greeks did not want to see Parliament ratifying the deal.

Athens and Skopje reached the deal in June to resolve the long-standing dispute between the two neighboring countries over the use of the name “Macedonia.”

Under the agreement, which has been ratified in FYROM and will need to be approved by the Greek Parliament in coming months, the small Balkan state will be renamed “Republic of North Macedonia.”

Many Greeks are still worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.

The poll also showed that Greece's main opposition conservative New Democracy party leading over ruling leftist SYRIZA. Should national elections be held now, ND would win the 31.2 percent of votes, while SYRIZA would garner 20 percent.

The center-Left Movement for Change would rank third with 7.1 percent of votes, followed by the far-right Golden Dawn party with 6.5 percent and the Greek Communist Party KKE with 6.2 percent.

According to the same poll, 72.2 percent of respondents said that they would prefer snap elections in case Panos Kammenos, the defense minister and leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks, the junior partner in the coalition government, leaves the government.

Kammenos has repeatedly voiced his objection to the deal between Athens and Skopje. He has also said that his party will vote against the agreement and government ministers have implied that SYRIZA may seek to stay in power as a minority government. The government's term in office expires in September 2019. [Xinhua]

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