Country assessments A-Z
Greece was not included in previous Life in Transition surveys so data is available only for 2016.
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Greece||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||1||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||6||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||2||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||12||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||10||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
92 per cent of Greek households report having been affected by the economic crisis between 2010 and 2016. It is probably as a result of this dramatic situation that Greece reports among the lowest levels of life satisfaction across the entire transition region. Only 1 and 6 per cent of respondents, respectively, believe that the economic and political situation in Greece was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These figures are substantially lower than the corresponding averages for the south-eastern Europe (SEE) region, the transition region as a whole and Germany. Only Italy reports similar values, with respectively 7 and 9 per cent of its respondents satisfied with the economic and political situation in their country. In addition, 12 per cent of interviewed Greeks think that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey.
Only 2 per cent of surveyed households believe that some improvement in their living standards occurred during the four years preceding the survey, the lowest value in the LiTS III survey. As of 2016, only 10 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their financial situation, as opposed to 29 and 31 per cent of those in SEE and the transition region, and 33 per cent of those in Italy.
Life satisfaction among Greek respondents is the lowest of all the countries in the survey, together with Georgia: only 24 per cent of respondents in these two countries declared being satisfied with their life. There is little variation in reported life satisfaction across age groups and gender although there is a positive correlation with reported income levels.
Optimism for future generations is limited. Only 24 per cent of respondents think that the next generation of Greeks will have a better life than themselves, one of the lowest results in the country sample and less than half of the transition region average of 50 per cent. The proportions do not differ much across age groups but there is some variation by income level, with those at the upper end of the income scale being the least optimistic.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Notwithstanding the deep economic crisis, Greek support for democracy and the market economy are among the highest in the transition region, with 79 and 52 per cent of respondents unequivocally choosing these political and economic systems over any other alternative. While these values are no higher than the corresponding figures for Germany (93 and 85 per cent, respectively), they are nonetheless well above the averages for SEE, the transition region and Italy. The proportion of people who say they would support, under some circumstances, either a planned economy or an authoritarian regime is 26 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Greece, 79 per cent of respondents indicated that freedom of speech is guaranteed in the country, followed by free elections and peace and stability, at 72 and 68 per cent, respectively. The extent to which Greeks agree that other basic democratic institutions are in place varies. For instance, only 20 per cent of respondents believe that the country has a strong political opposition and 27 per cent believe that the press is independent. Compared with Germany, Greece fares worse on all accounts, while relative to the Italians, Greeks are more positive about the existence of law and order, a fair judicial system and gender equality in their country.
Priorities for government spending
31, 28 and 18 per cent of Greek respondents report health care, helping the poor and improving pensions as the biggest priorities for government spending, respectively, most likely reflecting concerns over recent cuts in these areas. Additional analysis of the LiTS III data reveals that about 75 per cent of respondents believe that the high unemployment rate and, relatedly, the current dismal economic situation are two of the most important problems that the Greek government should address. Moreover, the LiTS III data show that 43 and 42 per cent of respondents are prepared to pay extra taxes in order to improve the public health care and the public education systems, respectively.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Greek respondents are the television and the radio; discussions with family, friends or colleagues; and the internet and social media, at 56, 32 and 28 per cent, respectively. While television and radio are the predominant sources of information among people aged 40 and over, the majority of those aged 18 to 39 resort instead at least once a day to the internet and to social media in order to get informed. Newspapers are read on a daily basis by approximately 7 per cent of the interviewed respondents, a figure lower than the averages for the SEE region, the transition region as a whole, Germany and Italy (at 14, 9, 31 and 21 per cent, respectively).
79 per cent of Greek respondents report a positive self-assessment of their health, the highest percentage in the entire sample (and even higher than the German and Italian numbers). The only demographic category in which fewer than 70 per cent of respondents positively assess their health is those aged 60 and over.
Quality of public services
The majority of Greek respondents are satisfied with the general quality of public services in their country: the figures range from 53 per cent of satisfied users of local roads to a 89 per cent satisfaction rate with the utilisation of telephone line services. These values are slightly lower than the averages for the SEE and the transition region, and are also below the corresponding figures reported in Germany, particularly when considering local roads, whose quality is deemed satisfactory by 86 per cent of German respondents.
Social and economic mobility
When respondents were asked from a list of options what they thought were the most important factors for success in life in their country, 37 per cent of Greeks opted for “effort and hard work, 33 per cent chose “political connections” and 24 per cent mentioned “intelligence and skills”.
Attitudes towards women
About 97 and 88 per cent of female and male Greeks, respectively, believe that women are as competent as men to be business executives and overall more than 85 per cent of interviewed individuals think that it is important that their daughter achieves a university education. However, around 48 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women consider men to make better political leaders than women, while 43 per cent of men think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working, as opposed to 33 per cent of women. Lastly, 59 per cent of respondents favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children.