Most re­ject idea of old cur­rency

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The ma­jor­i­tyof Greeks be­lieve that a re­turn to the drachma would only worsen the coun­try’s dire eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion while nearly a third think it likely that Greece will exit the eu­ro­zone, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey car­ried out by polling firm Pub­lic Is­sue on be­half of Kathimerini.

The sur­vey, which was car­ried out on a sam­ple of 500 peo­ple from across the coun­try ear­lier this month, showed that 66 per­cent be­lieved things would get worse for Greece if it gives up the euro and re­turns to its orig­i­nal cur­rency. Only 16 per­cent said they thought life would im­prove with the drachma while 10 per­cent said they thought noth­ing would change.

As for the pos­si­bil­ity of Greece leav­ing the eu­ro­zone – an even­tu­al­ity that the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors have ruled out but which re­mains the fo­cus of many spec­u­la­tors – only 28 per­cent of re­spon­dents said they re­garded this as a likely sce­nario.

The sur­vey re­vealed that most Greeks – though not an ex­tremely large ma­jor­ity – sup­port the euro. A to­tal of 58 per­cent said they be­lieved be­ing part of a com­mon Euro­pean cur­rency was good for Greece. The per­cent­age has fallen since 2001 when the euro came into cir­cu­la­tion in Greece and when 72 per­cent of Greeks had ex­pressed their sup­port for it, ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Union’s sta­tis­tics ser­vice. The rate of Greek sup­port was above the eu­ro­zone av­er­age of 66 per­cent.

Over the week­end Greek Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou and se­nior of­fi­cials of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank – one of Greece’s for­eign cred­i­tors – ruled out debt re­struc­tur­ing once again de­spite calls last week by Eurogroup Chair­man JeanClaude Juncker for “a soft re­struc­tur­ing” that would be car­ried out by ex­tend­ing the ma­tu­ri­ties on Greece’s debt. The ECB fears such a move would desta­bi­lize the euro.

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