A fresh poll has shown that more Germans want Greece to stay in the eurozone than want it to leave. The results of the survey by a public broadcaster indicate a change in sentiment despite Athens' ongoing dilemma.
For the first time in more than a year, the number of Germans wanting Greece to remain in the eurozone exceeds those who'd rather the country said good-bye to the single currency, a regular poll by public broadcaster ZDF showed on Thursday.
The results of the survey came just two days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a symbolic and highly controversial visit to Athens.
The poll in question saw 46 percent of respondents backing Greece's continued euro area membership, only little more than the 45 percent in favor of a 'Grexit' scenario. Those wanting Greece to leave said they didn't believe the country would be able to wriggle out of its massive debt problems.
But 57 percent of Germans supporting Greece's stay in the single-currency bloc warned the country should not receive any more loans from international lenders, should it fail to stick to agreed savings targets, acknowledging that could mean bankruptcy for the southern European nation.
The poll did not reveal whether Germans were in favor of giving Greece more time to meet deficit targets as called for by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday.
The most recent data from Greece indicated the country still had a bumpy road ahead. The Hellenic Statistics Authority (Elstat) reported on Thursday the unemployment rate rose to a record 25.1 percent in July. It said the worst affected group in the population was aged between 15 and 24 where joblessness reached a staggering 54.2 percent.
hg/hc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)