There are many reasons why southern Europe is suffering a catastrophic rise in unemployment, but a new Gallup poll highlights one of the most important and often overlooked: In some countries it’s nearly impossible to start a business. Gallup asked Europeans about regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship in their countries, and found that Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Italy were among the worst offenders. In Italy, 96 percent of respondents believe the government is making business life more difficult, and the other countries aren’t far behind.Luxembourg, Sweden and Malta are the only countries where more respondents believe their governments are helping things more than hindering, but other northern European countries, like Germany and Finland, are roughly evenly split on the question. Gallup offers a stark depiction of Europe’s north-versus-south divide: Northern Europeans may be lukewarm about their country’s business policies, but southerners are despondent.If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that residents of these countries still have great esteem for business owners. With the notable exceptions of Greece, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, solid majorities in every European country believe that business leaders are excellent role models. Unfortunately, their governments aren’t making life easy for them, to the detriment of the unemployed youth who desperately need the jobs their businesses would bring.