With Spain and Greece now nearing total economic collapse, Europe is in for another summer of high-profile meetings, diplomatic half-steps, and continuing tension between Germany and its Southern neighbors. Amid all the confusion, one question remains: How do Europeans feel about all this? A recent report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project attempts to answer that question. Among the findings:
- Germany is extremely highly regarded by other European countries—including those of southern Europe. They are nearly unanimously the “most admired nation,” the “most hardworking,” and the “strongest supporters of European economic integration and the Union itself.” Germans, for their part, seem to share this view. Over half of the German population thinks that Germany is paving the way to a bright economic future.
- No one trusts Greece. Most countries ranked Greece as the “least hardworking country” and believe that Greece strongly disparages European economic integration and the European Union. Although the Greeks consider themselves the most hardworking, they also believe their country to be the most corrupt.
- Most Europeans still feel “united,” and support for the EU remains above 50 percent in most countries. Yet a deeper look reveals some more troubling attitudes. Only 34 percent of those polled believe that European economic integration is a positive instrument; 37 percent maintain faith in the euro; and 39 percent hold favorable opinions of the European Central Bank. While the EU is still popular, the same cannot be said of the Eurozone.
Europeans think Germans are hardworking and Greeks are lazy; they like the EU, but are losing faith in the Eurozone. This explains why European policymakers are having so much trouble addressing the crisis.