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Greeks are ready for change, but tired of government inefficiency

22 December 2011 / 01:12:29  GRReporter
4530 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

About two months after the coalition government of the technocrat Lucas Papademos was composed, it cannot boast of special achievements from its functioning. Instead of focusing on the tasks assigned, the participants in the office continue to engage in partisan interests. This has made the Ministry of Finance recognize that it was not able to meet the targets. Then, immediately followed rumours that after the holidays, new economic measures are expected to be announced. At the same time, more and more Greeks, who were initially satisfied with a recognized financial expert from the West taking the power, are now disappointed with the lack of results and prefer elections.

GRReporter turned for comment to the head of one of the largest Greek polls agencies MRB, Dimitris Mavros. Here is his very interesting analysis.

"At the beginning of their mandates, governments always have a large percentage of citizens’ approval. It decreases significantly in the middle of the term and grows again at its end due to people's hope for something new or to pre-election promises, depending on whether the government will be re-elected or whether it will meet initial expectations or not. The same, but in a very short period of time, is happening with the present Greek government, the term of which is about three months at least formally. That was presented and formed in the minds of people who expect elections to be held in February or March, despite the continuing political and media discussion about the length and existence of today's government. Its performance is evaluated according to this criterion. Therefore, when there is a decline in public opinion after a month and a half, this means that the government is in the middle of its term.

In recent days, I hear the media say that polls show conflicting assessments of whether the government and the Prime Minister are successful in their work, because the percentage of positive answers to some questions is very large, but to others – it is not. When asking questions related to the respect in Lucas Papademos as a person, the results are positive. The percentages are not about 70 as at the beginning, but still about 50 per cent. However, when asking more "difficult" questions such as "how do you assess the position and actions of Mr. Papademos regarding the situation with which the government and country have to deal," things change. People's assessment is based on managerial criteria; it is related to what they have experienced as a change in their lives after Lucas Papademos was appointed Prime Minister. In practice, there is almost no change. The problems are still here, the adoption of new economic measures is being discussed, and there is no progress in performance on different issues for different objective and subjective reasons. In this case, the assessment is based on the performance of the cabinet and approval rates are about 35 per cent."

On the other hand, Greeks clearly prefer a coalition government. "Nobody from the public is convinced that a single-party government is able to solve the problems. This is the reason for the huge percentage, about 60-70 per cent in favour of "nobody" concerning the face of the future prime minister and the formation of single-party government. The implication is that it would be possible to take some decisions that would have an effect if all parties were locked in parliament, the key thrown away and they were required to understand each other. Therefore, asked what kind of government they prefer, the main response of the Greeks is a government with the participation of all parties. When we ask them whether they would elect Lucas Papademos prime minister in such a government, he does not receive the percentage of respect and affection but the percentage of performance and he "falls" again to 35 per cent."

Tags: SocietyPoliticsPollDimitris MavrosGovernmentChange
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