Most Greeks think new government cannot solve woes: poll

(Reuters) – Most Greeks believe their new government is unable to resolve their near-bankrupt country’s problems, a poll found on Thursday.

Greece depends on a second 130 billion-euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and European Union, who demand spending cuts that have helped push it into its worst recession since World War Two and put one in five out of work.

Led by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the coalition including socialists and leftists initially demanded numerous changes to the rescue package but has since softened its tone as it faces the risk of running out of cash.

The poll by Public Issue for Skai TV and the Kathimerini daily found 51 percent of Greeks believe the government is unable to tackle their country’s problems, against 47 percent who think it can.

The country is in a fifth straight year of recession, piling more misery on Greeks who have already suffered deep cuts to wages and pensions.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said Greece was on the wrong path. Only 23 percent said things were going well.

The poll is one of the first published since a re-run election on June 17 which failed to produce an outright winner but gave the conservatives a slight lead over the radical leftist SYRIZA party, which opposes the bailout.

Forty percent were not satisfied with the election result, the poll found. Only four percent said they were “very satisfied” and 33 percent that they were “a little” satisfied.

But 45 percent said they viewed the government in a positive light, while 43 percent had a negative impression of it.

Samaras’s new government got off to a rocky start, with three ministers resigning in as many weeks. On Monday, a deputy labor minister stepped down, saying the government had not been tough enough in pushing for changes to the bailout conditions.

Internal rifts have emerged over the coalition’s stance on renegotiating the bailout and it faces an emboldened SYRIZA opposition led by Alexis Tsipras, a charismatic young leader who rose to prominence in the runup to last month’s vote.

However, the poll found 56 percent of Greeks had a negative view of the opposition and only 31 percent a positive view.

The poll by Public Issue for Skai TV and the Kathimerini daily was carried out nationwide between July 5 and 10.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; editing by Andrew Roche)


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