13 April, 2006
A vast majority of Greek citizens, a whopping 81 percent, believe the country has benefited from its 26-year participation in the European Union, according to results of the latest Eurobarometer poll taken in late February and early March 2006.
However, a smaller majority, 55 percent, believe that inclusion into the euro zone and use of the euro currency ranks as a disadvantage for Greece. Conversely, 36 percent of respondents in Greece said the country benefited from the euro.
The results of the poll were presented during a press conference on Wednesday by Ierotheos Papadopoulos, who is performing the duties of director of the European Commission's delegation in Greece.
Greeks believe that there is greater political (70 percent) and economic (64 percent) stability because the country is a member of the European Union.
The majority of Greeks (58 percent) also believe that the EU has helped public administration in Greece to become more effective. A further 51 percent believe that the creation of new jobs is due to the abolition of state monopolies.
On the question of EU enlargement, the Greeks do not see any particular interest for their country by the fact that the specific candidate countries, as well as accession candidate countries will become EU member-states.
The country coming first in preferences is Bulgaria with 33 percent, followed by Turkey with 20, Romania 10, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) 7 and Croatia 5.
The question concerned which of the candidate or accession candidate countries is in Greece's interests to become an EU member. The poll also showed that 37 percent of respondents do not desire the accession of any of the candidate or accession candidate countries.
As to which country in their opinion maintains the closest friendly relations with Greece, the result produced was France 47 percent, Italy 37, Germany 33 and Spain 22.
Source: Athens News Agency