British voters side with troika in Greek debt crisis

British voters side with troika in Greek debt crisis

41% mostly blame past and present Greek governments, versus 11% who fault the 'troika' of European institutions

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s left-wing Syriza government, blames the country's current problems on an austerity program that he believes has crushed productivity and sent Greek unemployment skyrocketing.

However, the British public lay more blame for the crisis on the current and previous Greek governments than the ‘troika’ – the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank – who have called on Athens to raise taxes and lower public spending in return for debt relief.

41% say Athens bears more responsibility for the current Greek debt crisis, versus only 11% who blame the troika. Another 29% say both parties are equally at fault while 18% are unsure either way. This means roughly half of those with an opinion put at least half of the blame on Europe, but the vast majority do the same for Greece.

As previously shown, voters on the British left wing are especially sympathetic to Greece. While 58% of those who voted Conservative in 2015 say Athens is mostly to blame, only 29% of Labour backers agree, which is less than the 33% who say the troika and Greece are equally to blame. However, even among Labour supporters only 18% mostly blame Europe.  

Despite the twists and turns in the latest round of talks, British public opinion on what should happen with Greece are little-changed from January, when YouGov last investigated the issue following the Greek elections.

Today, 44% want Europe to take a hard line with Greece and refuse to reduce the country’s debt as Syriza has demanded, up from 41% in January. 36% would prefer to reduce and renegotiate Greece’s debt, essentially unchanged from before.  

A referendum in Greece on the latest offer by the country’s frustrated creditors is set to go ahead on Sunday, with eurozone finance ministers ruling out further talks before then. It is unclear what the outcome will be if the public vote to accept or reject the deal, which has expired, but a vote of disapproval would increase the likelihood of a Greek exit from the eurozone.

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See the full poll results 

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