Poll: Majority of Greeks Regret Joining Euro, Believe EU Will Collapse

Most Greeks now say they regret joining the euro currency, while a majority also believe the European Union is on the verge of collapse.

The Alco polling company found that 53 per cent of Greeks think joining the single currency in 2002 was “wrong”, while one in three believes the country should ditch the euro and bring back the drachma.

Support for the drachma is especially high among younger Greeks, who are suffering the highest unemployment rate in Europe at 53 per cent.

Kostas Panagopoulos, head of Alco, said Greeks have resented the European Union (EU) since the start of the financial crisis, however, he added: “It’s the first time, though, that such negative feelings for the euro have been recorded in Greece.”

At the time of joining the currency, support for the euro was higher than 70 per cent as Greeks felt optimistic about the EU investing in their country and dragging their economy up to the level of richer neighbours.

However, 15 years later the country is mired in debt and has the weakest economy in the currency union. Its government, elected on a radical left platform, has largely given in to demands from Brussels for harsh spending cuts.

The Times reports that the poll also found that only 40 per cent of Greeks thought the EU wouldn’t collapse in the coming years, making them even more pessimistic about the bloc’s future than the UK which voted to leave last year.

Already struggling to cope with a failing economy, Greece also faces the burden of being one of the main entry points for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said last year that the cost of dealing with the migrant crisis would be greater than 600 million euros.

A central bank source had estimated the cost at around 600 million euros, but Mr Stournaras said:  “That estimate was based on the presumption that Greece was only a transit nation, but if now we have to host a large number of refugees, this estimate will have to be revised.”


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