Sunday, September 2, 2012

Germans write off Greece, says poll

Financial Times
September 2, 2012

Only a quarter of Germans think Greece should stay in the eurozone or get more help from other countries in the currency union, a Financial Times/Harris poll has found.

The overwhelming verdict highlights Angela Merkel’s domestic dilemma as she comes under pressure in Europe to agree more time or money for Greece to get its €174bn second bailout back on track.

Negative German sentiment, detailed in the poll conducted in August, stands in marked contrast to that in Italy and Spain, where respondents were far more reluctant to cut Athens loose.

The diverging views pose a big challenge to EU leaders who this month must again grapple with how to deal with a new Greek government poised to ask for two more years to implement painful economic and government reforms demanded by international lenders as part of their three-year bailout programme.

Senior officials estimate that the Greek programme has already slipped by up to €20bn since it was agreed in February because of a worsening economic climate and official stasis in Athens through two rounds of divisive national elections. A decision on how to fill that gap must be made before an already-overdue €31bn aid payment is distributed next month.


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