People stand in front of a shop displaying Greek flags
Athens - AFP
Seven out of ten Greeks want their leaders to reach an agreement with their creditors as the country's debt drama drags on, but almost a quarter back leaving the EU, a survey published Sunday showed.
Just over 23 percent of Greeks would prefer splitting from the European Union, while slightly under 72 percent said they supported an agreement with creditors when asked "what would be the best solution for the country", according to a poll in Greek paper To Vima.
The other five percent didn't voice a preference.
Greece has been trying to negotiate a deal that would unlock 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in remaining EU-International Monetary Fund bailout money that Greece needs to avoid default and a possible exit from the euro.
Just over 20 percent told pollsters they would like to return to their old currency the drachma, according to the survey of 1,007 people carried out from April 21-22.
Greeks seem to be ambivalent about their leaders' confrontational stance in negotiating with their creditors, with only half approving of the strategy that has seen tempers flare and accusations fly.
But their disapproval of the stance has fallen less on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who enjoys a 61-percent approval rating.
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has headed up the stormy debt negotiations, has the approval of just over 51 percent of his countrymen.
He maintained his critical tone in comments published Sunday, two days after a tense meeting with European finance ministers in Latvia that ended without a deal.
"Our duty is to convince our partners that we are working for profound reforms and a reasonable public finance policy," Varoufakis told Greek paper Realnews.
"Their duty is to give up their sterile attachment to the logic of memorandums (austerity) that has failed," he added.
The eurozone's 19 finance ministers ended the meeting in Riga without a breakthrough to unlock 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in bailout cash, with the threat of a messy exit by Greece from the euro still hanging in the balance.
In a Tweet Sunday, Varoufakis quoted former American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), who spurred major reforms in the United States after the Great Depression.
"FDR, 1936: "They are unanimous in their hate for me; and I welcome their hatred." A quotation close to my heart (& reality) these days."