• Germany's news in English

Backlash over EU crisis hits German popularity

The Local · 26 Jun 2013, 07:55

Published: 26 Jun 2013 07:55 GMT+02:00

There is fear of a German-dominated EU, even though many agreed with the principle of increasing competitiveness in the face of crisis, the poll showed. And although the idea of a German-dominated EU is unpopular, the country's influence in the union is generally regarded as positive.

More than half of people in France, Italy and Spain felt Germany had too great an influence in the EU - with a huge 88 percent of Spaniards feeling this way.

Commissioned by UK newspaper the Financial Times, from the Harris Interactive pollsters, the survey showed that nearly half of British people (48 percent) felt the same, while just 22 percent of Germans thought their country had too much influence in the EU, and 16 percent said it was not powerful enough.

Of the Germans asked, 50 percent said their country had about the right amount of influence in the union.

Support for competitiveness

When asked whether they agreed with the idea that "Germany is right to say that greater competitiveness is the main answer to your country's economic difficulties," 31 percent of British agreed, while 28 percent disagreed.

Of the French, 44 percent agreed and 23 percent disagreed, while of the Italians, 41 percent agreed and 30 percent disagreed. Of the Spanish people asked, 38 percent agreed while 38 percent disagreed. And of the Germans 39 percent agreed and just 24 percent disagreed.

Another question asking whether people agreed with the statement: "Germany is right to urge tough austerity measures in your country even when growth is weak" found less agreement.

Of the Brits asked, 24 percent agreed while 37 percent disagreed. In France 25 percent agreed while 42 percent disagreed, while in Italy 20 percent agreed and 56 percent disagreed. In Spain just 15 percent agreed while 73 percent disagreed. And of the Germans, 45 percent agreed while 28 percent disagreed.

More German solidarity - and wealth transfer - wanted

When asked whether Germany was showing too much or not enough solidarity towards the rest of the eurozone, 52 percent of Germans said it was too much, while just eight percent said not enough.

But the Italians and Spanish wanted more solidarity, with 73 percent and 75 percent respectively saying there was not enough coming from the Germans, while 31 percent of the French said there was not enough, and 20 percent that there was too much.

The Brits were evenly divided, with 29 percent unsure, another 29 percent saying Germany was showing the right amount and 30 percent saying it was not enough. Just 12 percent said Germany was showing too much solidarity.

Asked whether Germany should transfer more of its wealth to weaker eurozone countries, it might be little surprise to find 63 percent of Germans disagreed, while 13 percent agreed.

The other countries polled were less firm on the point. Of the Spanish, 53 percent agreed, with just 18 percent against the idea, while Italians were 50 percent in favour, and 22 percent against.

The French were 33 percent in favour, 30 percent against and 37 percent undecided, while the British people were 37 percent in favour, 32 percent against and 31 percent undecided.

Concern at growing German influence

Story continues below…

When asked whether Germany's call for greater fiscal and political union would lead to a more German-dominated EU, the Spanish were most concerned it would, with 64 percent saying so. In Italy 51 percent said it would, 37 percent in France said so, and 44 percent of Brits thought so too. Just 27 percent of Germans thought so.

And when asked whether a more German-dominated EU would be good or bad for their own country, only the Germans said it would be a good thing. But only 47 percent were so sure, and 23 percent said it would be bad for Germany.

The Spanish were most afraid of such an outcome, with 76 percent saying it would be bad for Spain. The figures were similar in Italy where 70 percent said such an outcome would be bad for Italy. The figure was the same in the UK, while the French were not much more positive, with 63 percent saying it would be a negative thing.

Yet when asked whether Germany was a positive or negative influence on the EU, respondents were more welcoming. In Spain 23 percent said Germany was positive, while in Italy 24 percent agreed, and in France 38 percent said Germany was a good influence on the union. Even in the UK 31 percent said Germany was a good influence.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany mulls pullout from Turkish airbase: report
A German Tornado jet at the Incirlik base in Turkey. Photo: Bundeswehr/DPA.

Germany's military is preparing to pull out from a Turkish airbase as a row between the two NATO partners escalates, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

German man arrested over Bali meth lab
Bali. Photo: DPA

A German man has been arrested on Indonesia's Bali island for allegedly making crystal methamphetamine in a secret lab, officials said Thursday, with authorities seizing bags of powders and bottles used to produce the drug.

Giant 2-metre catfish attacks woman in Bavarian lake
A wels catfish. Photo: DPA

When a young woman went for a swim in an idyllic south Bavarian region, she got more than she bargained for.

Mayor fires refugee project intern for wearing headscarf
File photo: DPA.

A Palestinian who was hired to work as an intern on a refugee project was fired by a town hall this week because she wouldn't take off her headscarf.

President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd