Majority of Germans favor Greece remaining in euro: poll

By Reuters

Feb 01, 2015 06:04 PM EST

A majority of Germans favor Greece remaining in theeuro zone despite its new leftist government in Athens rejecting austerity, a poll for newspaper Bild am Sonntag showed on Sunday.

Sixty-two percent favored Greece staying in the 19-country currency union, the survey of 504 people conducted on Thursday by polling group Emnid showed. Just 26 percent wanted Greeceout of the euro.

The new government in Athens made clear from its first day in power last week that it would not back down on its election pledge to abandon the austerity policies imposed on Greece in a bailout program agreed by the last government.

New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras nevertheless rang European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Friday night to assure him that Athens was seeking an accord, a government official said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a Saturday newspaper interview that she wantedGreece to remain in the euro zone, but she ruled out a debt writedown for Athens.

The Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag showed 68 percent of those surveyed also opposed a debt writedown for Athens.

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