Greek government's ratings fall

THE approval rating of Greece's socialist government fell in June, with most Greeks expecting the economy to worsen as a result of austerity policies to deal with the country's debt crisis, an opinion poll showed yesterday.

The poll, conducted by Public Issue between 2-7 June, showed the ruling socialists' approval ratings falling to 18 per cent in June from 22 per cent in May, although they were still ahead of the conservative opposition.

The poll showed that 69 per cent of respondents expect the economy to deteriorate and 81 per cent believe labour strikes will intensify.

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Markets are closely watching public reaction to the wage cuts and tax rises imposed by the socialist government, waiting to see whether the authorities will resist pressure to water down its reforms, including those of the country's ailing pension system.

The popularity of prime minister George Papandreou remained steady, however, at 53 per cent.