ATHENS (Reuters) - Austerity measures by Greece's socialist government to shore up the country's public finances and avert a deeper debt crisis are seen as necessary but insufficient, a poll published on Sunday showed.
Under pressure from markets and its European peers, Greece will freeze public sector wages and cut salary allowances by 10 percent this year to chop its wage bill as it aims to shrink the deficit by four percentage points to 8.7 percent of GDP.
The government's tax reforms and tight incomes policy are part of a fiscal plan that targets to cut the deficit to below the EU's 3 percent cap by 2012 and rein in public debt.
The poll by Alco for Sunday's Proto Thema newspaper showed that 65 percent of those asked consider the austerity measures necessary but a smaller 41.1 percent majority thinks they will be sufficient to attain the targets.
Prime Minister George Papandreou has said the government will do whatever is necessary to ensure there is no slippage from the EU-endorsed fiscal plan, which means tougher measures may be in store.
According to the poll, 51.3 percent thinks the government was slow in announcing the package of measures but 60.7 percent finds Papandreou's efforts to lead the country out of the crisis is in the right direction.
Despite the budget axe, 55.9 percent thinks public sector employees continue to be favored compared to people working in the private sector and 63.7 percent puts the blame on politicians as the ones most responsible for the Greek economy's fiscal mess.
Greece's civil servants walked off the job on February 10 and have said they will join a February 24 strike called by private sector labor union GSEE to protest the government's austerity measures.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Mike Nesbit)