ATHENS – Popular support for the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led government is falling fast as reform talks with international lenders drag on.
A poll conducted by the University of Macedonia and presented on SKAI TV showed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ party has plummeted from 72 percent backing in March to just 45.5 percent.
Tsipras was elected on Jan. 25 on a promise to reverse austerity and not deal with the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) but hasn’t been able to do both yet.
That has held up a 7.2-billion loan installment he said he didn’t want and raised the specter of a default and exit from the Eurozone, making Greeks jittery.
The poll also showed fast-waning support for Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose combative style and designed “constructive ambiguity,” has almost everyone confused as to what he’s doing. Only 39.5 percent of respondents like those tactics.
On a scale of 0-10, voters gave SYRIZA poor grades in most areas: 4.6 on the economy; 3 on handling immigrants who are being released from detention centers; 3.7 on crime-fighting and security as it moves to release terrorists from jail; 4.2 on education; 5.5 on foreign policy and defense; 4.5 on public administration and 4.4 on health.
And little more than half, some 52.5 percent, said they believe Tsipras will keep his campaign pledges as he’s being squeezed by the lenders to relent. Some 26.5 percent believe the situation will get worse.
While Greeks elected SYRIZA on the back of its promise to get tough with the lenders they showed a continuing contradiction in wanting the party to make sure Greece stays in the Eurozone, which it couldn’t do if it kept its vows.
Some 56.5 percent now fear the country will be forced out in a so-called Grexit, up from 45.5 percent in March as more analysts are jumping on a the doomsday wagon.