Overwhelming majority of Greeks want to keep euro, poll shows

A piggybank painted in the colours of the Greek flag with a 20 euro banknote in it's slot, stands amongst various euro coins in this picture illustration taken in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

ATHENS (Reuters) - A total of 84 percent of Greeks want to keep the euro, with just 12 percent favoring a return to the drachma, an opinion poll showed on Friday, as the country races to clinch a cash-for-reforms deal with its creditors.

The poll by Metron Analysis for Parapolitika newspaper showed that although the overwhelming majority of those polled want to remain in the single currency, 55 percent said it was the right choice to vote ‘No’ in last weekend’s referendum on tough austerity measures.

But a second survey by the University of Macedonia showed supporters of the left-wing Syriza party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were split over whether a return to the former Greek currency, the drachma, was a better option.

Whilst 47.5 percent of respondents backing Syriza said they preferred to keep the single currency, 40 percent believed returning to the drachma was the better option.

The poll also found that Greeks were deeply pessimistic about the performance of the economy in the next 12 months.

Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said their household finances would either definitely or probably worsen over the next year with less than one in 10 saying the situation would either certainly or probably improve.

Despite that, Syriza maintained a commanding lead over the opposition conservatives, with 45.6 percent of Greeks saying they would vote for the party were there to be parliamentary polls, according to Metron Analysis. That was more than the 36.3 percent vote share the party won in January’s election

The center-right New Democracy party has seen its support drop from 27.8 percent to 22.7 percent.

The University of Macedonia poll questioned 633 adults over 18 years of age on July 9. It was not clear when the Metron Analysis poll was conducted.

Reporting by Costas Pitas and George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Costas Pitas; Editing by Catherine Evans