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Wanted: a green, fair economic system

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Wanted: a green, fair economic system
Photo: DPA
16:07 CEST+02:00
Most Germans would like a new economic system which focussed more on environmental protection and social justice, according to a new survey.

Eight out of ten people said they would like to see a new kind of economics, while two out of three said they did not trust the idea of the markets solving economic problems themselves.

The survey, conducted by polling firm TNS Emnid for the Bertelsmann Foundation, suggested people were not as interested in short-term issues “as one generally expects,” said Aart De Geus from the foundation.

“Sustainability, the environment and social issues are more important for more people than politicians believe,” he said in a report om Die Zeit weekly, due to be published on Thursday.

Even worries sparked by the euro crisis are no longer people’s top priorities it would seem, according to new figures from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

These showed that while in 2009 just under half of Germans were scared of unstable financial markets, last year less than one in three shared that fear.

“One cannot forget that the broad population have become used to the crisis over the past few years, and the high expectations from stable financial markets have sunk,” said Jürgen Schupp, head of the DIW’s socio-economic research panel.

Yet the Germans remain split on what the best strategy is to get out of the crisis. The Emnid survey showed that 44 percent would like to see growth policies, while 44 percent were in favour of a strict austerity approach.

Economic growth was considered by most Germans, but compared to results from a 2010 survey, 14 percent fewer felt it was “very important” for their own quality of life.

The most important elements were ranked as health, satisfaction with personal life, and protecting the environment.

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