Kapa Research: Most Greeks begin their day with a glance at their smartphones; political trends for 2018

31 December 2018
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Most Greeks begin their day with a glance at their smartphones, according to an end-of-year survey by Athens-based Kapa Research on the top trends for 2018 in the country.

The online survey points to an increasingly “connected” Greek society, with smartphones now used more and more for the purchase of goods and services, bank transactions, as well as news and information, such as health issues. Based on the survey, 81 percent of respondents said they look to their mobile device in the first 15 minutes after waking up in the morning.

The other top trends in the country for the year that ends, according to the opinion poll firm, show that a large segment of younger and highly skills adults that endured the eight-year recession, and stayed in the country, appear more mature and “guardedly optimistic”. This generation, in broad terms, seeks justice, usefulness and democracy.

A similar poll in 2010, at the beginning of the punishing economic depression, which subsequently snowballed into the worst political and societal crisis since the restoration of democracy in 1974, showed that 74 percent of young people surveyed would emigrate from the country if given the opportunity.

Another finding of the survey points to a triptych of “family-sea-homeland” as the first words that come to mind for most expatriate Greeks when they reminisce about the eastern Mediterranean country.

The latter result is derived from a Kapa Research survey, in cooperation with Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, on some 8,000 expatriate Greek respondents.

Back in Greece proper, the survey found that most third country refugees that are now hosted in shelters in the country suffer from depression and stress. This portion of the survey was conducted on behalf of the World Bank, and on a sample of 1,600 refugees and foreign nationals hosted in shelters around mainland Greece. Additionally, 65 percent of individuals who have requested asylum in Greece are accompanied by children.

For residents of the greater Athens area, the Kapa Research survey states that crime is the biggest concern for 62 percent of respondents. On a nationwide basis, unemployment and lack of jobs is the biggest concern, at 52 percent.

On the political front, the sudden re-emergence of the fYRoM “name issue” with the signing of the provisional Prespa agreement by the Tsipras and Zaev coalition governments, respectively, last June is accompanied by a perceived rise in the far right and extremist reactions in the country, namely, on issues of national sovereignty, irregular migration and globalization. This rising trend in Greece mirrors developments in other western societies, according to the survey.

Kapa Research also compared two major outdoor political demonstrations in the country, with a difference of seven years: the rally held over the fYRoM “name issue” and the overall Macedonia issue in Syntagma square last February, and that of a “indignados” rally in 2011. The latter was part of a wave of anti-austerity rallies and movements in the country, again with Syntagma square, in front of Greece’s Parliament, as the epicenter.

The opinion poll firm surveyed 490 participants at the February 2018 rally, similar to the methodology that it has used in 2011.

The 2018 rally focused on use and safeguarding of the name “Macedonia”, with 72 percent of respondents over the age of 45, while in 2011, 61 percent were under the age of 44.

At the latest rally, 54 percent of respondents said they were ideologically at the “right” of the political spectrum; 45 percent of respondents in 2011 at the “indignados” rally said they were ideologically at the “left” political spectrum.

Overtly populist characteristics, along with a high rate of cynicism, is shown in other findings, with 72 percent of respondents saying they support the “yellow vests” movement in France, and 38 percent backing a political party that opposes the traditional political system in Europe.

The two-party dominance in Greek politics is also demonstrated in the survey, with respondents favoring main opposition New Democracy party at 25 percent in December 2018, up from 21.8 percent the previous year. Ruling SYRIZA rises to 20.3 percent in December 2018, up from 17 percent last year.

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