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Euroscepticism on the rise, says EU poll


brussels bureau

Euroscepticism on the rise, says EU poll

Trust in the EU has fallen to a record low, a European Commission poll says.

It surveyed the bloc’s six biggest countries: Poland, the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, where euroscepticism has soared.

72 percent of Spaniards say they don’t trust the EU, compared to 24 percent six years ago.

Bailout and austerity measures see that trend mirrored elsewhere.

In Italy, the number is 53 percent, compared to 28 percent previously. In Poland, 42 percent of interviewees said they don’t trust the EU, compared to 18 percent in 2007.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission told Euronews that the EU executive is “concerned with the social situation” over spending cuts.

“At the same time we have to be clear and honest: it was not Europe that has created this crisis: this crises was created either in the financial markets, irresponsible behaviour or some times at national level: by unsustainable debt,” he said.

Czech economist Tomas Sedlacek argues Europeans can only get through the crisis better be working together.

But that message doesn’t appear to be getting through to the 59 percent of Germans who they don’t trust the EU, compared to 36 percent in the previous poll.

“If we wouldn’t have the European Union, we would have the austerity anyway and countries would still go bankrupt and those bankruptcies would be much more severe and much harsher because other countries wouldn’t probably so readily help them as they readily help them now,” he said.

Yet unemployed Europeans will find little comfort in those words.

The latest available figures indicate there are roughly 26 million people out of work across the EU.

Economists argue that tough spending cuts have dampened demand to such an extent, the European economy is on a dangerous downward spiral.

Karl Aiginger of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research said: “You need not to look only to the balance in the budget, but you need to reduce the spending that is not necessary for growth and increase the spending which is important for the future, for growth and competitiveness.”

EU Commission chief Barroso and some MEPs say more Europe is the solution, calling for more federalism to tackle the crisis.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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