05 June, 2006
The majority of Greeks favor a diplomatic solution to differences between Greece and Turkey through the International Court of Justice at The Hague, according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.
In the poll commissioned by the To Thema newspaper, 66% of respondents backed using the court with 25.7% against and 8.3% unable or unwilling to answer.
The court proposal was made by the former president of the republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos, in an article published on May 28. The nationwide poll was conducted by Metron Analysis on May 30-June 1 with a sample of 800 people.
Supporting a referendum on recourse to the court were 50.5% of respondents, with 43.8% saying the decision should be taken by the government.
On taking a dispute with Turkey over delineation of the Aegean continental shelf to The Hague, 63.7% agreed, 26.2% disagreed, and 10.1% declined to reply.
Other items in a hypothetical agenda at the international court were the status of disputed islets in the eastern Aegean (48.7% in favor, 46.3% against); non-extension of national airspace (46.4% in favor, 43.8% against); non-extension of Greece's territorial waters (46.2% in favor, 45.1% against).
Asked whether they backed demilitarization of the eastern Aegean islands, 54.7% were against, and 8.8% offered no reply.
At the same time, 50.8% of respondents want Greece to maintain its backing for Turkey's move towards the European Union, with 43% against and 6.2% declining to reply.
Concerning acts of provocation by Turkey, Greece should persist in diplomatic settlement, according to 73.4% of people polled. Another 20.5% believe that Greece should respond in like kind, and 1.2% said the country should respond dynamically.
Tension in the Aegean served Turkey's ends, 51.3% respondents said. According to 1.8% the tension served Greece, with 6.4% believing it benefited both sides. Seeing no benefit to either party were 37.1% of people polled.
Favoring the policy on Turkey conducted by former premier Andreas Papandreou in the 1980s and first half of the 1990s were 37.9%. Backing the policy of Constantine Karamanlis before Papandreou were 16.8% of respondents, followed by another ex-premier Costas Simitis at 9.1% from the mid-1990s to 2004.
In support of current premier Costas Karamanlis were 7.5%, and Constantine Mitsotakis in the early 1990s drew 1.9%. Favoring none of the leaders were 15.3% of respondents. Another 11.4% declined to answer.
Asked whether they felt more confidence in Premier Karamanlis handling issues with Turkey or main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou, the late Andreas Papandreou's son, 40.3% opted for Karamanlis and 28.8% the PASOK chief. Twenty five percent backed neither and 4.6% gave no answer.
Source: Athens News Agency