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Germans don't trust Greece to tighten belt

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Germans don't trust Greece to tighten belt
Photo: DPA
12:11 CET+01:00
Two thirds of Germans voiced doubt in a poll published Friday that heavily-indebted Greece is serious in its commitment to pare down its spending in order to receive a bailout and avoid bankruptcy.

Some 27 percent said they believed serious efforts would be made to implement austerity measures hammered out by rival Greek politicians, while 66 percent were sceptical, according to the poll for ZDF public television.

Nearly half of those asked said other eurozone countries should accept that Greece faced bankruptcy without further aid, while 62 percent expect that if that happens, the German economy will suffer as a result, it showed.

Eurozone finance ministers, unconvinced by the austerity package, have given Athens until next Wednesday to meet further conditions in return for €130 billion ($171 billion) in aid.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also got an overwhelming thumbs-up for her handling of the eurozone's debt crisis, with 69 percent judging her performance as basically good, the poll showed.

An earlier poll released Wednesday by the Forsa polling institute for Stern magazine revealed Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats were at their most popular since winning a second term in 2009.

The survey on Greece was conducted by polling institute "Forschungsgruppe Wahlen" for ZDF between February 7 and 9 among 1,272 people.

German lawmakers will vote at the end of the month on the new multi-billion-euro rescue deal planned for Greece, a leading member of Merkel's party said Friday.

"The Bundestag (lower house of parliament) will vote on Monday, February 27 on how the path now for Greece and the support proceeds," said Volker Kauder, who heads the Christian Democrats' parliamentary group.

"Our goal remains to help Greece but Greece must also keep its promises," Kauder said.

Merkel met the heads of all the parliamentary parties early Friday to report back on efforts to agree a second bailout to save Athens from bankruptcy although a concrete deal has yet to emerge.

Merkel won two key votes on the eurozone debt crisis in parliament last year.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, head of the Social Democrats parliamentary group, said: "It's in nobody's interest to refuse what is now necessary in Greece to prevent total collapse."

AFP/bk

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