ATHENS – Showing their discontent after more than eight years of brutal austerity measures and a crushing economic conditions, Greeks lashed out at a range of people and institutions they blame, especially politicians, Parliament and the news media.
Those were among the findings in a World Values Survey, the first time since 1981 that Greece was included. It was organized by diaNEOsis, an Athens-based research and policy institute, in cooperation with the National Center of Social Research (EΚΚΕ) and was designed to track the development and transformation of societies’ basic values and citizens’ attitudes.
The poll records the attitudes of citizens in almost 100 countries and found that in Greece, only five institutions are trusted by more than 50 percent of people: universities, the military, police, the Church and judges.
Trust in Parliament, the media, the government and political parties was under 15 percent, representing the depth of contempt in which they seem to be held although the media has exposed wrongdoing by politicians and that Parliament workers were exempted from austerity measures after threatening to strike.
The mistrust extends beyond institutions with 90 percent of people saying most people are dishonest, perhaps indicating just how strong the sense of “zeelevounai,” mistrust between Greeks for each other really is.
Some 61 percent said they trust their neighbors, and only one in five said they trust people of a different nationality or religion, Kathimerini and the business newspaper Naftemporiki said of the results.
Other findings were:
- 63 percent said society must improve gradually with reforms, while the remaining one-third consider that voters are essentially “bribed”
- Some 33 percent said they don’t want homosexuals as neighbors, 25 percent don’t want migrants and 20 percent don’t want to live next to someone whose religion is different
- Another 20 percent worry about a civil war, 40 percent a terrorist attack and 33 percent war with another country
- 10 percent said they were victims of a crime and 33 percent said they witnessed many thefts
- 29 percent worry their children won’t get a good education, 16 percent of people 30-49 years old are anxious they will lose their jobs
- But about 70 percent said they are happy, including 83 percent for young adults – an age group with nearly 50 percent unemployment – and 80 percent said their health was good or very good
- Some 81.4 percent said they were religious and only 21 percent said science would prevail over religion when there was a clash of ideas
- About 50 percent said migrants and refugees are bad for the country, 64 percent said migrants bring a bigger risk of terrorism and 63.5 percent said they worsen unemployment