World Economy

Greeks Still Pessimistic About Economy, Own Future

Greeks Still Pessimistic About Economy, Own FutureGreeks Still Pessimistic About Economy, Own Future

An overwhelming majority of eight out of ten Greek citizens are still pessimistic about the national economy and the future of their own finances, four years after the start of the debt crisis, an opinion poll released on the weekend showed.

However, the percentage of pessimists has dropped from the 90 percent recorded at the start of this year by polling firm Kappa Research which conducted the survey for daily "Vima Kyriakis" (Sunday Tribune), Xinhua reported.

According to the poll, about 49.6 percent of respondents expect their economic situation to deteriorate in the near future, 32.3 percent see nothing changing and 15 percent expect an improvement.

Regarding the national economy, about 40.5 percent predicted deterioration, 34.1 percent no change and 25.1 percent improvement.

According to the pollsters, after the initial shock of the threat of bankruptcy and the tough austerity introduced, Greeks have adapted to the new standards and in some aspects changed their views on the state and the function of the economy.

Today one in two Greeks acknowledge that the bailout agreements with international lenders with their harsh terms for austerity and structural reforms in return of loans, had a positive as well as negative impact on Greece.

As Greece is about to return to growth in 2014 after six years of recession, respondents said that the groups who mostly contribute to economic development are the farmers (73.8 percent), businessmen (72 percent) and ship owners (64.1 percent).

Greeks have lost faith in political parties, labor unions and media, as they trust them with only 7.6 percent, 5.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

The top priority for Greece at the moment, according to the 79.1 percent of respondents, should be the creation of job positions, since the country still suffers from record high unemployment rates, despite the improvement of other economic indexes in recent months.

With more than a quarter of the working force unemployed, households have changed habits when it comes to consumption. A 91.2 percent of respondents said that after the start of the crisis they opt for the less costly choices between two similar products.

The survey was conducted among 1,609 people nationwide between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.