What do Europeans believe about the crisis and the possible way out?

European Parliament meeting: Feeding Europe in times of crisis. (EP Audiovisual Services, 17/10/2013).

European Parliament meeting: Feeding Europe in times of crisis. (EP Audiovisual Services, 17/10/2013).

Despite the falling level of citizens’ confidence in EU institutions during the past few years from 55% in 2007 to 44% in 2012, a recent Eurobarometer survey found that respondents insist that the EU is best placed to regulate banks, with 54% of the respondents supporting this view. This is a direct proof that Europeans do not trust their national authorities when it comes to setting rules for the financial industry. They prefer Brussels to undertake this task, on the hope that central regulation would be less biased in favour of the lenders.

The Netherlands is a very characteristic case of that. According to Eurostat, 55% of Dutch had, at the end of 2012, an overall confidence in EU institutions. When it comes to banks however, the Eurobarometer survey found in June 2013 that the public opinion in this country is overwhelmingly in favour of the Brussels authorities, as better placed to regulate the financial industry with an astonishing 72%. As mentioned above, people fear that national governments are prone to favour the lenders, a belief based on the hidden but obvious ties between sovereigns and banks. Asked by the Eurobarometer about “Regulation and cap on bankers’ bonuses”, the Dutch again respond en mass in favour, with an equally overwhelming 69%.

Eurobarometer

The abovementioned findings come from the European Parliament Eurobarometer (EB79.5) survey entitled, “One year to go to the 2014 European election”, conducted in June 2013. Concerning the banks, there are major differences between euro zone and non-euro zone respondents, ranging from 11 to 18 percentage points. The former are more likely to believe that measures, like support for banks in difficulty, would be more effective on European level, while the latter insist that financial measures would be more effective, if implemented at national level.

Understandably the same diversification between Eurozone and non-Eurozone citizens is noted, when it comes to confronting the economic crisis. More than 55% of the former category of EU citizens answer that the best way to counter the crisis is that their country adopts measures in coordination with the other member states. Half of non-euro area citizens (50%) agree with that.

It’s also very interesting to observe which measures are considered more appropriate to counter the economic crisis. More than 72% of all EU citizens believe that the key measures to confront the ongoing crisis are those designed to create jobs and combat unemployment. The next options are measures “stimulating growth” with 35% and “supporting purchasing power” and “combating inflation” with 34%-35%.

The euro

However, when it comes to the role of the euro in mitigating the negative effects of the crisis, all EU citizens have an overall negative idea. In June 2013, 54% of them completely disagreed with the proposal, that “the euro has mitigated the negative effects of the crisis”. Two years ago this percentage was a bit less at 51%. On the positive side, around 38% agreed last June that the euro played a positive role in confronting the ongoing crisis. Not surprisingly though, this percentage was less in September 2011 with 34%.

This increase of positive views about the euro between 2011 and 2013 is understandable. The reason is that, during the last two years, it became evident that confronting the crisis was not a short-term affair. Such a widespread recognition must have disturbed deeply a large part of Europeans. The 4% increase between 2011 and 2013 in people believing that the euro played a positive role is probably the outcome of the intense propaganda that more dreadful possibilities may lie ahead. Some EU governments kept brandishing in their rhetoric such threats as those, and mainstream media wilfully promoted the whole affair.

Not to forget that all along the past two years Greece was threatened with an exit from Eurozone and a total economic collapse. The Greek tragedy was ‘used’ by other troubled governments, as a dreadful phantasm to ‘convince’ the public opinion in their countries, that severe austerity measures were the only way out of the crisis. By the same token the Greek tragedy was ‘used’ all over the world in order to help many governments in their efforts to enforce unpopular policies.

In conclusion, EU citizens appear rather ‘terrorised’ by the ongoing crisis and more so by the recognition that this is not a passing affair. Bit by bit governments and media seem to insist, that this crisis is not a banking and financial issue, which may be cured with the use of monetary measures and strict controls on banks. On the contrary, they want to convince the public opinion that unpopular measures in the labour market and the social protection front are the only options to formulate a sustainable answer to the problem.

Obviously the final solution that Europe will choose will be formulated on the political arena. This is of course an ongoing procedure and that is why the entire political spectrum in many European countries has totally changed during the last two to three years. Naturally there is more to come.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

France breaks budget promises once again and the EU’s finance offices are shaking

COVID-19 shows why we must build trust in digital financial services

Amazon: our green is turning to ashes

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Suriname’s climate promise, for a sustainable future

Medical students: catalysts to close the gender gap

As people return to work, here’s how we can make commuting more inclusive and sustainable

Safety fits into our palms: The role of mobile technology in healthcare systems and life saving

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

Algorithmic warfare is coming. Humans must retain control

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

How the institutional response to COVID-19 can prepare us for climate change

Germany is turning its old mines into tourist hotspots

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

Yemen bus attack just the latest outrage against civilians: UN agencies

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

Friday’s Daily Brief: UN chief in China, counter-terrorism, updates from Bangladesh, Mali and Mozambique

7 steps to becoming a ‘CEO Academy’

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Coronavirus: Commission adopts new exceptional support measures for the wine sector

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

Juncker and Tusk killed Greece on 07 July 2015 to meet the Commission’s summer vacation plan? #Grexit #Greferendum #Graccident

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties exceed 10,000 for sixth straight year

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

‘Act now with ambition and urgency’ to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

A challenge for inclusion in the Dominican Republic’s health care services

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Outbreaks and pandemics periods can be stressful, but how can we turn it to a positive life-changing experience?

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

China greenlights first underwater high-speed railway

Three out of the past five Julys were the hottest on record

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

European Parliament speaks out against “killer robots”

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

These are India’s cleanest cities

EU Border and Coast Guard: new corps of 10 000 border and coast guards by 2027

7 lessons leaders should take from the COVID-19 crisis

We won’t win the online security war without people power

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Q&A on extraordinary remote participation procedure

EU Elections: new rules to prevent breaches of data used to influence elections

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

In West Africa, UN Security Council visits Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

How to change the world at Davos

5 ways to get your business ready for AI in 2020

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s