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Most S. Koreans support Park's economic democracy drive: poll
SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- Seven out of 10 South Koreans supported President Park Geun-hye's efforts to narrow the wealth divide and promote fair competition between conglomerates and smaller companies, a poll showed Wednesday.

   The survey conducted by Nielsen Korea Ltd. found that 71.4 percent of 1,000 respondents endorsed Park's policy meant to realize economic democratization.

   The survey also showed that 21.9 percent said the government should place its top priority on tightening regulations on unfair business practices by conglomerates, known as chaebol.

   It showed that 17.1 percent called for the government to strengthen its crackdown on transactions among chaebol affiliates, and that 12.1 percent called on the government to impose a ceiling on equity investment by conglomerates.

   The equity investment ceiling is designed to limit conglomerates to only investing a certain percentage of their net assets in other companies.

   Chaebol have been credited with driving the country's economic growth in recent decades by spearheading exports, but critics accuse them of engaging in unfair business practices, including irregular inter-affiliate trading, at the expense of smaller companies.

   The poll is the latest sign that Park's signature economic policy designed to stop chaebol from abusing their power has drawn widespread public support.

   The online poll surveyed 1,000 South Koreans between Feb. 25 and March 5, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

   entropy@yna.co.kr
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