Sceptical Germans split over more Euro aid

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4 Sep, 2013 Updated Wed 4 Sep 2013 10:27 CEST
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Half of Germans are against giving more money to Europe’s troubled economies, while most do not believe the two main political parties are telling the truth on the issue, a survey released on Tuesday suggested.

The country's next government - to be decided in the September 22nd election - will have to overcome significant public resistance to build a consensus around the idea of further bailouts to countries such as Greece and Portugal.

Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat challenger Peer Steinbrück have said they would be prepared to fund another Greek bailout - but this would be against the wishes of most of the electorate.

Most - 64 percent - said they wanted the chance to vote in a referendum before further bailouts of crisis-hit countries.

The survey, commissioned from pollsters YouGov Deutschland by the Berlin branch of British think-tank Open Europe, questioned just over 1,000 people.

Open Europe’s Policy Analyst Nina Schick said: "German voters’ support for ‘more Europe’ seems to be mostly limited to strict control over other countries’ spending.

"On all other eurozone initiatives currently being discussed – including debt write-downs and a banking union – a majority of Germans remain opposed. The question is if the next German chancellor is prepared to press ahead with more eurozone integration anyway, risking the gap between voters and politicians widening further."

Just over half of those asked - 52 percent - did not want their government to lend any more cash to crisis-hit countries.

Professor Michael Wohlgemuth, director of Open Europe Berlin, said: “The majority of Germans appear to be eurosceptic when it comes to their money. Many important decisions about the euro debt crisis have been delayed or masked by parliament. The survey shows that the coming government will have to make very unpopular decisions.”

Germans were still in support of the Euro, but 55 percent wanted to reduce the number of countries using the currency.

About a third wanted to bring back the Deutsche Mark, with 60 percent against returning to Germany’s former currency.

Most Germans, 64 percent, supported Chancellor Angela Merkel in rejecting the introduction of pan-European government bonds which would in theory be backed by Germany.

But less than three weeks before the general election, most said they did not trust political parties to tell them the truth about their Eurozone plans.

Just 29 percent said they believed Merkel's conservatives were being honest, while only 18 percent said they believed the opposition Social Democrats.

READ MORE: Merkel tells Europe: work harder to stay rich

Tom Bristow



2013/09/04 10:27

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