• Germany edition
 
Backlash over EU crisis hits German popularity
Photo: DPA

Backlash over EU crisis hits German popularity

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

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Merkel accuses Isis of genocide
A photograph (right) made available by the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows an Isis fighter tying up an Iraqi soldier. Photo: EPA/ALBARAKA NEWS/HANDOUT

Merkel accuses Isis of genocide

Chancellor Angela Merkel described atrocities committed by Isis in Iraq as genocide on Wednesday, going further than other western leaders in her condemnation of the group. READ  

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital
An isolation ambulance approaches the specially outfitted aircraft carrying the Ebola patient at Hamburg airport. Photo: DPA

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital

UPDATE: The first patient to be treated for Ebola in Germany arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday morning. READ  

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls
Uber is going head-to-head with taxi services across Germany. Photo: DPA

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls

Chauffeur car service Uber plans to expand into more German cities and double its activity in the country by the end of the year in the face of bitter opposition and a court case. READ  

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?
Police images of the Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Bundlos, the three perpetrators of the NSU murders. Photo: DPA

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?

The German government announced measures on Wednesday requiring police and courts to take tougher action against suspected hate crimes, following a neo-Nazi killing spree that went unsolved for more than a decade. READ  

The Local List
Ten of the oddest things found at border control
Photo: Zollamt/Shutterstock

Ten of the oddest things found at border control

Some of the strangest items found by German border control might make you think again about whether border checks are over the top. The Local List takes a look. READ  

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants
Demonstrators hold up a banner against Roma deportations in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants

UPDATE: Germany is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday to expel EU citizens who cheat the country's social security system, as well as improving conditions for asylum seekers. READ  

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate
Shoppers in Germany felt a sudden drop in confidence in August. Photo: DPA

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate

Confidence among German consumers fell at its fastest rate in August since records began more than 30 years ago. Instability on the international stage and fears for the future of the national economy have contributed to the sudden drop. READ  

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats
Photo: DPA

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats

A driver in western Germany should not be fined for "negligent driving" because he had swapped seats after a warning sign, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods
The cannabis was found by a walker who alerted police. Photo: DPA

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods

Police have found 18,500 cannabis plants with a street value of €20 million growing in the woods on the Dutch-German border. READ  

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany
Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles speaking to journalists in July. Photo: DPA

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: DPA
National
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,443
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd