ATHENS – With Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ unpopularity near 90 percent, some 63.1 percent of Greeks expect he will call snap elections in 2017.
The Radical Left SYRIZA leader has plummeted in polls since taking office in January, 2015, and winning a Sept. 2015 snap poll, after constantly reneging on anti-austerity promises.
Debt relief plans suspended after he immediately handed out 617 million euros ($644.79 million) in holiday bonuses to lower-income pensioners whose benefits he had decimated are due to resume in January but negotiations over terms of a third staggered-payout bailout of 86 billion euros ($89.87 billion) have gone on more than 18 months.
Tsipras has reportedly told aides he was mulling or rejecting snap elections he hopes could shore up support for his contradictory stance of opposing austerity while imposing it.
A poll conducted for Real News by MRB found that the majority of people believed Tsipras’ coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, far-right, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) won’t be able to come to an agreement with the creditors, the European Union, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism.
Bitter resentment over his breaking of promises has simmered over for months with constant strikes and protests with people taking to the streets to denounce him, just as he and SYRIZA did to previous New Democracy Conservative and PASOK Socialist regimes.
Asked to identify the words that best describes how they feel, 63.1 percent of respondents chose “worry,” 47.9 percent “fear,” 29.7 percent “anger” and 24.3 percent “shame.”
In worse news for the Premier, 77 percent said their standard of living will continue to decline while 70 percent of those aged 18-24 said they’d like to leave the country if they could.
Surveys show New Democracy, ousted by SYRIZA after also imposing rounds of austerity, has taken leads of 15 percent and more under new leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who told Greeks he’s reversed his previous support of austerity but told the creditors he’s reform-friendly.
But with the extreme-right Golden Dawn, whose leaders are facing charges of running a criminal gang, continuing to hold third place, a new election could likely see the need for another coalition.