Greeks strongly support their new technocrat prime minister Lucas Papademos and his national unity government, opinion polls showed.

Polls also suggested that the country may continue with coalition rule after he steps down next year.

Mr Papademos, a former central banker, has already called on the nation to rally behind his coalition as it sets about securing a bailout deal with the eurozone, which demands austerity measures likely to be highly unpopular with Greeks.

A survey by pollsters MRB showed he has support, at least for now, from Greeks appalled by bickering among party politicians after the previous Socialist government collapsed.

The poll also signalled that no party might win a majority when the interim coalition finishes its work and early elections are held, opening the possibility of some kind of continued coalition government.

The survey, published in the newspaper Realnews, found that 68% of Greeks believed a unity coalition was the government best suited to solving the country's huge problems with debt, budget deficits and economic competitiveness.

It was also reported that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Mr Papademos on Saturday - just 24 hours after his cabinet was sworn in - urging him to respect and carry out all Greece's reform commitments in full, the French government said.

He has to win parliamentary approval for the €130bn bailout, Greece's second in as many years, even to win the latest instalment of EU/IMF funding from last year's original rescue package.

With big debt repayments due next month, Athens needs that €8bn to avoid defaulting and sliding into bankruptcy.

Officials from the "troika" of the EU, the IMF and the ECB will start arriving in Athens early next week to speak with the new government.

Altogether 75% backed Mr Papademos, according to the MRB poll which was taken on 10 November, when he was named as prime minister, and on 11 November when his cabinet was sworn in.

Another poll by Kappa Research for newspaper To Vima found 73% believe appointing Mr Papademos was the right decision, while 78% thought the coalition was a positive move.