Express:Greece turns against EU

8 May 2017
989 Views

GREECE is turning against the EU with support for the debt-ridden state staying in the eurozone plummeting, according to a new survey.

The survey by Dianeosis found 59.6 per cent wish to remain in the euro, compared to 73.9 per cent in April 2015.
Analyst Nikos Marantzidis said: “In international terms, we would say that we’re seeing the emergence of an intense and potentially-threatening euroscepticism, which challenges Greece’s place in the European Union.”
The number of Greeks finding EU membership to be a negative thing increased from 17.4 per cent in April 2015 to 26.2 per cent in the latest survey.

Around six in 10 Greeks believe that the EU has benefited from Greece’s membership more than the nation itself.
Mr Marantzidis said: “It can be said that for many Greeks, EU membership is detrimental, or in the best case scenario, a minor luxury.”

The survey found the percentage wishing to return to a national currency has risen to 33.1 per cent from 20.7 per cent as austerity measures continue to cripple the state.

In 10 years time, four in 10 believe Greece will have left the euro, with four in 10 also believing that the country will have left the EU.

Mr Marantzidis said: “The picture in favour of the euro and Greece’s place in the European Union, that has been shaped by Greek society, must not be taken for granted.
“It could be transformed in the future if the economy continues to deteriorate and Greeks lose their prospects for the future.”

In a blow to the EU, the report found half of Greeks also believe that within the coming years the EU will split, with some countries withdrawing, while another three in 10 believe it will dissolve completely.
More than 1,200 people were questioned by phone in collaboration with the Public Opinion Research Unit of the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki.

It comes as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seeks to bring his leftist Syriza party on board to approve a deal reached with international lenders, sweetening the pot by saying any above-target savings this year would go to the Greek people.

He also repeated his mantra that Greece has done its bit with austerity and reforms and that it is now time for the lenders – the EU and International Monetary Fund – to meet their promises to consider debt relief.

He said: “After five years of promises… our lenders are faced with the obligation to immediately adopt substantial measures to reduce the debt.”

Athens is hoping to get a deal on further debt relief when euro zone finance ministers meet on May 22.

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