samedi 8 octobre 2011

La moitié des Autrichiens pensent que la Grèce doit être éjectée de la zone Euro

27. 09. 11. - 16:19
Half of Austrians think Greece should exit

One in two Austrians say Greece should be forced to leave the Eurozone.

Research group Karmasin, which polled 500 people for magazine profil, found that 50 per cent of Austrians were in favour of a Greek exit. Only 34 per cent oppose such a move while 16 per cent refused to reveal their opinion on the matter.

Think tanks and political decision-makers have warned the Austrian economy would be badly hit if Greece were thrown out of the Eurozone which currently features 17 European Union (EU) member countries. Only this morning (Tues), People’s Party (ÖVP) financial affairs spokesman Günther Stummvoll expressed such concerns in a radio interview. Stummvoll said: "Letting Greece go bust would certainly turn out to be more expensive for Austria (than helping the country)." Social Democratic (SPÖ) Chancellor Werner Faymann – whose party cooperates with the ÖVP – claimed in May that the Austrian growth domestic product (GDP) would instantly shrink by five per cent if the debt-ridden southern European country left the Eurozone.

Freedom Party (FPÖ) boss Heinz-Christian Strache called on the coalition to stop providing further guarantees and credits to Greece. The Eurosceptic accused the government of "acting like an EU sect" while ÖVP Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner criticised the opposition’s ways of thinking as "very short-term".

The economy minister warned of the consequences of a cancellation of Greece’s debts – a step more and more EU leaders are reportedly in favour of to calm down volatile stock markets. Mitterlehner claimed the effects of such a measure were "not really estimable", adding that it would negatively affect EU countries’ pension funds, the financial sector and the strength of the European Central Bank (ECB). Mitterlehner added there must be more focus on the condition of the real economy in Europe. Various public statements  on the condition of Greece and the Eurozone were creating a "downward spiral", according to the ÖVP official. Mitterlehner pointed out Greece also had to be helped to make investments.

The Austrian Society for European Policies (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik, ÖGfE) found in June that eight per cent of Austrians had "no trust" in the Euro. Ten per cent of polled citizens admitted having only "very little trust" in the strength and stability of the currency which has been in use in the alpine country since 2002. The largest group of people were the 38 per cent who said they had "great trust" in the Euro.

The Karmasin poll result disclosing that 50 per cent of Austrians wanted Greece to leave the Eurozone comes around half a year after a majority of 58 per cent told the agency they were convinced that the Eurozone would get through the current crisis. Only 16 per cent of citizens said in December 2010 they wanted the Schilling, Austria’s old currency, back. Thirty-one per cent said the same last May. Strache has appealed on the SPÖ-ÖVP administration that a reintroduction of the Schilling must be an option.

ÖVP Finance Minister Maria Fekter called a possible remission of Greece’s debts as the "very final option". The former interior minister refused to reveal whether she could imagine backing a 50 per cent rate. Fekter said it had to be seen first whether the country’s ailing economy managed to improve and meet requirements expressed by the EU, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The finance minister made clear that there were "no endless resources of taxpayers’ money" to support the Greek government’s attempt to lower the public debt. Research has shown that the number of people living on the streets in Greece had increased dramatically in the past months. The country’s suicide rate rose sharply since its leadership sought financial support from the EU, the ECB and the IMF for the first time around one and a half years ago.

Austrian Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) boss Josef Bucher labelled Greece "Europe’s money drain". The right-winger – whose party struggles in polls – was widely criticised over a new poster series featuring Bible verses like "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Already a few months ago, the FPÖ caused controversy by launching an ad campaign showing a tanned cartoon character lying in a hammock. The slogan of the allegedly racist posters was "Our money for our people!"

Speaking to Austrian newspaper Die Presse, German Green Party Bundestag faction head Jürgen Trittin warned a bankruptcy of Greece would have a more serious impact than the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers which triggered a two-year credit crisis in 2008.
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