Greece: Germans oppose bailout proposal, still favour Grexit

Greece: Germans oppose bailout proposal, still favour Grexit
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Support for Greece leaving the euro is down from previous months, but Germans continue to prefer a hard line and oppose the latest deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing strong political headwinds as she tries to sell negotiations on a third, €86bn (£60bn) bailout deal for Greece. Though new talks were approved with wide support, 50 MPs from Merkel’s own party rebelled, and according to a new YouGov poll German public opinion is against the deal.

In all 56% of Germans disapprove of the proposal, against only 29% who rate it positively. 15% are undecided. The new arrangement is opposed across all age groups and regions of Germany. 

It is also opposed across the political spectrum. Only 30% of voters from the CDU/CSU Union, Merkel’s right-of-centre party, approve of the deal, while 56% rate it negatively. Backers of the Union’s coalition partner, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) are the most positive at 40%, but even they disapprove of it by 49%, as do the Left Party (Die Linke) by 70-24% and the Greens by 55-36%.

Respondents were told Greece’s parliament had approved the new funding, which will depend on the passage of new reforms and the approval of other Eurozone member states. The €60bn (£42bn) trust fund flowing from the privatisation of Greek state assets was also described.

Germans may oppose the deal because they see it as unfair to Greece or because they want a harder line. However, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, known for his particularly hawkish stance in the negotiations, receives slightly higher ratings (49% positive to 32% negative) on the issue than Angela Merkel (46-38%), suggesting the tougher stance is more popular. Union supporters are more likely to be "very" positive about Schäuble's handling of the negotiations (38%) than Merkel's (29%). 

Of the major parties only Left Party voters are both opposed to the proposal and widely disapproving of Merkel (20% positive to 73% negative) and Schäuble’s performance (21-65%). At this morning’s debate, Left Party leader Gregor Gysi accused the finance minister of trying to “destroy the European idea”. 

Grexit

Schäuble appeared to break from the Chancellor yesterday when he again insisted a temporary ‘Grexit’ or Greek exit from the Eurozone, would be best. His position continues to be fairly popular. Though support for Grexit has fallen from a March peak of 59%, more continue to prefer Greece to leave the currency union (48%) than stay in (34%).

But most Germans no longer say Grexit is likely in the next six months, as 59% believed last month.  The share of Germans who expect an imminent Grexit is now 37%, and 50% say it probably won’t happen. Germans are even more doubtful the Greek economy will begin picking up again during the three-year time span covered by the recovery package: 74% say this is unlikely. 

Survey conducted as part of the YouGov Germany Omnibus. 1380 German adults were interviewed online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults.

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