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Germans less than ecstatic on EU and euro

The Local · 17 Sep 2012, 16:29

Published: 17 Sep 2012 16:29 GMT+02:00

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Some 65 percent of Germans thought their personal situation would be better if they still had the mighty deutschmark, compared to 36 percent of French who miss the franc, according to the survey by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.

The Germans are also less attached to the European Union than French people, the study suggested.

Some 49 percent of those Germans questioned said they thought would be personally better off if the EU did not exist, compared to 34 percent of French who said they would be better, or much better off without the EU.

The poll, also carried out in Poland, showed only 28 percent of Poles believed they would be better off without the EU.

Nevertheless, despite their apparent scepticism about the euro on a personal level, 69 percent of Germans said they believed the EU was a model for the rest of the world, compared to 56 percent of French and 59 percent of Poles.

The survey was conducted by telephone among 1,001 people in Germany, 1,004 in France and 1,000 in Poland.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:12 September 17, 2012 by smart2012
This is where verkel failed. Regards from beautiful kiev :)
01:54 September 18, 2012 by schneebeck

I want to ask you a hypothetical question.

There was another Local article where the ECB's Mario Draghi offered to speak to the German parliament about his Euro rescue plans.

What if in Draghi's place before the German parliament, you Mr. Smart2012, were going to deliver that speech before the German parliament.

As you were standing there in your suit and tie before the German parliament;

What would you say about the Eurozone and Germany's part in its rescue? How would your speech sound?
08:23 September 18, 2012 by freechoice
there is no such thing as a safe currency. every currency is subjected to the whims and fancies of political situations in every countries.
08:54 September 18, 2012 by C Robert
Thanks goodness, a lost dog came home. Replacing Deutschmark with Euro wasn't a good idea first place.
13:09 September 18, 2012 by raandy
I think it would be safe to assume if the DM was still used the German Economy would not be as strong.

The value of the DM (today) would vastly curtail Germany's exports as it's value to other currencies would be to high, making the cost to consumers in other lands to expensive.

The EU has provided Germany with a stable currency. There is no going back to the DM that would be the mother of all disasters.

The EU, is going through an adjustment period the banking industry has to be reformed from high risk buying and the "to big to fail" problem. Deutsche Bank,UBS for example are to large to be allowed to fail and getting larger putting the tax payer's on the hook for a bailout. Breaking these banks up would be a step in the right direction, but special interest will most likely win out in this theatre.
15:55 September 18, 2012 by sonriete
We often hear this "too big to fail" argument for breaking up banks, but how about governments?

Perhaps breaking up the EU, the USA and China into more manageable components would be a solution to too much government regulation.

The British broke up the biggest Empire that ever existed after WW11, for that matter, they carved up India int 5 pieces while they were at it.

NATO carved up Yugoslavia in the early 1990's.

Is the model of super states really any better for governments than for banks or other businesses like Google or Microsoft?

We never as citizens get a chance to weigh in on a referendum on this issue.

In an article above this one, Westerwelle, like so many Euro super state centrics calls for more Europe, now yet more elected officials ond the Euro level, why never a vote for the people on less Europe?

Let the people chose between the two, look at all these referendums over the past 25 years. They all are only in the one direction and if the Eurocrats don't get their way they simply keep voting till the citizens vote the way they want them to.
16:17 September 18, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ sonriete

"why never a vote for the people on less Europe?" - Maybe because polls are showing that Europeans find EU a model for the rest of the world, as reported by the article? Maybe because countries are lining up to join the EU? Maybe because non-Euro countries are still preparing for adopting the Euro? Maybe because even the Greeks feel more comfortable within EU and the Eurozone than outside of them?
16:53 September 18, 2012 by sonriete

But are those reasons to deprive citizeds of a democratic referendum which gives a choice other than more and more European integration?

And then when the pro Euro side loses the referendum to simply ignore the results or force them to re-vote as has happened repeatedly?

Polls out in France this week indicate that if Maastricht was subject to a re-vote it would lose by close to 70% It barely won in the 1990's by 51% to 49% anyway. Why not subject that to a re-vote? If the polls go the other way in favor of more Europe you can bet your last Euro there will NEVER be a re-vote!

If it is so great, why so much fear of democratic referendums that are organized in a way that does not have governments try to sway the outcome?

The policy in Brussels is that governments decide in their all night negotiating sessions and then have an obligation to go back to their national body politics and sell the treaties to their citizens!

What kind of Democracy is this?
22:30 September 18, 2012 by ChrisRea
According to the latest poll, some 65% of French are against ditching the euro and returning to the franc. I would say that the minority of French who are in favour of giving up the Euro should respect the opinion of the majority.
01:00 September 19, 2012 by sonriete
So our democracy should be ruled bu public opinion polls rather than elections by secret ballot?

Even if that is the case, the most recent poll results are not clear at all.

It sounds like we are both citing the IFOP poll no the front page of yesterday's LeFigaro.

Two questions were posed; first was if you were allowed a re-vote on Maastricht, 64 % said they would vote no on it.

Second question was would you like to go back to the Franc, 65 % said no.

In some of the English translations, including in the Daily Telegraph of London the second question was mis translated, they posed it as would you like to leave Euro or go back to Franc so when the same two questions posed by the exact same pollster at the same time they appeared to give opposite impossible results.

But when you look at the original publication you understand.

Like so many thing she Devil is in the details.
07:37 September 19, 2012 by ChrisRea
"So our democracy should be ruled bu public opinion polls rather than elections by secret ballot?"

Definitely not. But we should not organise a referendum (which costs couple of tens of millions at least) each time someone feels dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. Actually I think that the French Constitution clearly specifies the reasons for organising a referendum (redefining the powers of the state institutions, reforms or the ratification of a treaty which is incompatible with the Constitution). So the law which is the backbone of Franch democracy says that the question whether France should leave the EU or the Eurozone is not to be answered through a referendum, but through other measures.

Otherwise I agree with you that, as the polls show, the French are a bit confused,.
15:33 September 19, 2012 by raandy

The United States is a REPUBLIC and is not a Democracy.

There is a simple reason for this, as Benjamin Franklin ""Democracy is two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

Throughout History Democracies have fallen prey to what is called "the tyranny of the majority". That is where smart politicians put together a coalition of "50%+1", so they have a majority, and then use that majority status to enrich and perpetuate their majority...normally at the expense of the minority. This is what we are seeing in Europe today, Democracy.

Referendums, can you really trust John Q Public to be able to make an intelligent decision based on the pros and cons and the facts of an important issue? There are far to many special interest groups with their spin doctors out there for me to trust a referendum.
17:37 September 19, 2012 by sonriete
To me sharing sovrienity with foreign countries or taking those powers back certainly both fall equally well within the definition of "redefining the powers of state institutions"

As for the worry that the body politic is too easily swayed by special interests so referendums can't be trusted?

Well for one thing they have not been given much weight in the EU, if Brussels does not like the result, they simply ignore it (France an Netherlands on constitution) (Ireland and Denmark on various treaties) so I guess those who don't care for referendum democacy de-facto have their will in EU

Second on the question of special interests, take a guess about how many paid lobbyists have permanently set up shop in Brussels?

Do the lobbyists generally get their way at expense of people in commission and parliment?

Look at the fisheries of Europe and answer that question, or virtually everything else for that matter.
01:09 September 20, 2012 by schneebeck
@raandy #12

"can you really trust John Q Public to be able to make an intelligent decision based on the pros and cons and the facts of an important issue?"

Do you believe that politicians and bureaucrats generally make intelligent decisions based on the pros and cons and the facts of an important issue?

Many people in the world, from many different societies, think politicians are eternal liars and corrupt minded. Perhaps it is just that people think this when they are unhappy that an issue wasn't decided their way.

How strongly do you trust politicians over John Q Public? A little or a great deal?

Are politicians sometimes swayed by special interests?
17:02 September 20, 2012 by raandy
I believe that there are hearings in a public forum on issues and both sides have their experts speak on the subjects, ,Senate Hearings for example,and these politicians are held accountable by their constituent at election time. I also believe that JQP generally does not consult any experts or listens to both sides of the issue,and in many cases have little to no knowledge other than what they have "heard" so no I do not trust the referendum,
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