ATHENS (Reuters) - Most Greeks oppose a new austerity campaign proposed by the Socialist government last week to meet its commitments under its international bailout, but more than two thirds intend to pay taxes imposed by the plan, a poll showed on Monday.
Intense public opposition to a string of cost cuts and tax rises has devastated support for Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government and given rise to strikes by unions and protests that erupted into violent clashes with police in June.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos proposed last week a new campaign to cut the country’s budget deficit that includes cutting pensions worth more than 1,200 euros a month by 20 percent and extending an unpopular property tax until 2014, two more years than originally planned.
The survey, by pollsters GPO for Mega TV, showed 61 percent said the measures were not necessary, versus 36.5 percent who said they were. Just 6.3 percent said the program was fair, while 92 percent disagreed.
But, asked whether they would pay the taxes contained in the plan, 70 percent said they would, while 23 percent said they would resist.
The plan includes extending a new property levy that ruling party deputies are expected to approve in a vote on Tuesday.
It will present many Greeks with large new tax bills to be collected through electricity invoices even as many face the prospect of pension cuts and job losses.
Only a quarter of Greeks said the measures would be effective, and 71.5 percent said they would not.
Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; writing by Michael Winfrey; Editing by Tim Pearce