NICOSIA - Harsh austerity may have dented Cyprus’ enthusiasm for Europe but a majority of Cypriots still believe that a bailout deal with the Troika must be signed.
According to a CyBC TV poll broadcast last night, 57% of Cypriots said the government should seal a financial assistance package, while 35% were against such a move.
Nicosia is anxious for swift approval on the terms of an EU bailout to help revive the recession-hit economy and save its Greek-exposed banks.
Without an aid package in place -- deemed to be in the region of €17 billion -- the state would effectively go bankrupt.
Despite support for a bailout regime of wage cuts and tax hikes a whopping 71% of those polled said they were unhappy with President Christofias’ handling of the Troika negotiations.
A sizeable 30% also agreed that no political party had taken the right stance on the memorandum issue.
Moreover there was a poor rating for international lenders – the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission – involved in the Troika talks.
Only 26% of those polled had a positive opinion of the IMF and a mere 25% had anything good to say about the ECB.
However, there was a 34% popularity rating for the euro and 40% backing for the EU as an institution.
Disy leader Nicos Anastasiades remains the frontrunner on 38%, followed by Akel-backed Stavros Malas on 23.7% and former foreign minister Giorgos Lillikas trailing in third on 19.7%.
Although topping every category when compared to the main rivals, Anastasiades scored his lowest rating (28%) on the issue of honesty.
He scored highest for leadership qualities (47%), promoting Cyprus’ interests abroad (43%), handling disputes at home (41%) and most suitable to tackle the Cyprus problem (39%).