ATHENS, 24 Mar — RIA Novosti, Gennady Melnik. In Greece, Russia and the Russians continued to enjoy great popularity among the population– about 70% of Greeks have a positive attitude to Russia, and 30% believe an “ideal political leader,” Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the polling company MRB Hellas for an independent non-profit research organization Dianeosis.
A nationwide survey was conducted in January and February 2018, with a nationwide sample of 1,250 people (and about 2500 for some common issues) methodology telephone interviewing (CATI). The survey included over 70 questions with more than 200 variables that capture the views of the Greeks on a range of topics: perceptions of the European Union and the position of Greece, views on the economy, immigration, civil rights, education, religion, sexual harassment. The purpose of the survey is to compile a “profile” of the Greek in 2018, to find out opinions and beliefs on a number of important issues.
This year marks 35 years of the accession of Greece to the EU, and especially the researchers were interested in the attitude to the European Union and Greece stay in the Eurozone. During the year the attitude towards the EU has improved – positive part of the country was estimated 67.6 per cent of respondents (compared with 53.5% from the previous survey in December 2016), 30,5% evaluated it negatively. 66% of respondents said that for them it would be better to stay in the Euro zone, and 26.3% would like to return to the national currency drachma.
Despite the fact that the Pro-European trend is growing, the country continues — albeit with a declining pace — to attract “other forces” such as Russia. It is considered the main alternative to the EU, 24.1% of respondents, compared with 33.4 per cent from the previous study. On the question of which country could have more than the Euro area, to ensure the interests of Greece, 11,7% of respondents named the US (a year ago 10%), and 10.3% in China (compared with 6.6% in December 2016). “I do not agree, we must stay in the Eurozone” replied 43.3% of respondents.
To the question of what the Association called by the Russians, 66,9% said “good” compared to 77.4% a year ago and 13.7 percent “bad.” In second place on the positive attitude – Americans (43.6% of respondents, against 49.7% a year earlier), while 39.2% of survey respondents reacted negatively to the Americans.
“In this context it is not surprising that the ideal political leader for Greece is embodied in the person of Vladimir Putin (30%), with the greatest support shown aged 17-39 years, mostly with elementary education,” the study authors write.
On the second place on popularity of the answer “do not know/do not answer/no” – 24.4%, and followed by Angela Merkel (14.2 percent), Emmanuel macron (12,8%) and Donald trump the American President is 2.1% of respondents ‘ votes.
In October 2017, was published a public opinion survey conducted by a group of sociologists of the University of Macedonia for the newspaper “Kathimerini”, according to which of 57.3% of Greeks hold a positive attitude to Russia. Even more positive are the views of Russian President Putin — a positive opinion of him, 67% of respondents. Then Putin also significantly ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which positively 40.5% of respondents, and the American President Donald trump with 16.5% of the vote. Then to the question “who of the world leaders do you trust more” on the share Putin had a 41.5%, Merkel is 27.5%, and trump’s only 5%.