Greeks Favor Renegotiation of Loan Even at Risk of Euro Exit

Almost three-quarters of Greeks want Antonis Samaras’s coalition government to insist on a renegotiation of the terms of the country’s international loan agreement, an MRB poll showed.

Of 1,011 people surveyed, 74 percent said the coalition should insist on discussing the terms, even if such talks lead to the prospect of Greece leaving the euro area, according to the poll in the Sunday edition of the Athens-based Real News newspaper and pre-released today.

That compared with 15.5 percent who said the government should accept the current terms of Greece’s bailout without any talks, according to the poll.

Samaras, the leader of the New Democracy party, formed a coalition government with the socialist Pasok party and Democratic Left after an election on June 17. The vote followed an inconclusive May 6 election that underlined concern Greece might have to abandon the euro.

Of those surveyed, 61 percent said it’s unlikely that the government will be able to renegotiate changes to the loan agreement that are favorable for Greece and its people, while 34 percent said Greece’s international lenders will agree to talks to change some terms of the deal, the poll showed. Almost 60 percent said Greece will not leave the euro area, compared with 37 percent who think a Greek exit is likely.

New Democracy

Seventy-five percent said the coalition government won’t, or is unlikely to, complete its four-year term in office while one in two interviewees said the administration will last for a maximum of one year, according to the poll.

New Democracy would again emerge as the largest party if elections were held on July 22, with 23.5 percent of intended votes. The anti-bailout Syriza party would come second with 21.7 percent of votes and Pasok third with 10.1 percent, according to the poll.

While Democratic Left would place sixth with 5.1 percent of the vote, its chief Fotis Kouvelis is the most popular party leader, with 37.7 percent saying they have a positive view of him, while Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was placed second with 26.1 percent and Antonis Samaras third with 24.7 percent.

The poll was conducted between July 10 and July 12. No margin of error was given.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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