The Greek government's approval ratings are plummeting as negotiations go sour

Alexis TsiprasREUTERS/Francois LenoirGreece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels March 20, 2015.

The once sky-high support for the Greek government’s steely position over negotiations with Europe and the country’s bailout is starting to evaporate, according to polls just released by the Greek media.

Yannis Koutsomitis, one of Twitter’s top Greece-watchers just flagged up the data to show this.

According to Skai TV and the University of Macedonia, the government is struggling to keep approval of the current negotiating strategy in positive territory now. 45.5% of those asked still think the government is pursuing the right strategy, but 39.5% no longer do.

That’s a huge fall from grace in just a couple of months.

The approach of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and finance minister Yanis Varoufakis previously enjoyed huge popularity, according to the same pollster: 69.5% registered a positive opinion of the approach to negotiations during March, with unfavourable opinions barely breaking into double digits at 10.5%.

The one thing polling shows consistently that Greek voters do not want is an exit from the euro (Grexit) — that’s one of the reasons that the country has put up with so much economic pain over the last several years. Any sign that the government is prodding the country towards Grexit, deliberately or accidentally, was always likely to reduce support.

Currently the government is floundering to gather enough cash to pay public pensions, state workers and the International Monetary Fund while bailout negotiations continue. Yesterday Athens demanded that local governments hand over their reserves to the Bank of Greece to give the country a cash buffer.

The government initially wanted to seal the bailout deal by April 24, something that’s now looking incredibly unlikely — the next Eurogroup meeting after Friday is not until May 11, just one day before Greece has to make another big IMF payment.

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