Wednesday

29th Mar 2017

Unemployment greatest concern among Europeans, says survey

  • European perceptions of their national economic situations remain very gloomy, says Eurostat. (Photo: xOchoa)

The economic crisis and its social impact is a major concern for most EU citizens, according to a survey published Thursday (20 December) by survey-group Eurobarometer.

“The proportion of Europeans who say that the situation of their national economy is rather bad or very bad exceeds two-thirds for the ninth consecutive time,” notes the survey.

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Unemployment, the general unchanged nature of the economic crisis, and rising prices are among the greatest concerns.

In Greece, as well as in Spain, some 95 percent of those surveyed perceive their national economies as "bad".

The unemployment figures in both countries, and in particular among the youth in Spain, has prompted talk of a so-called ‘lost generation’. Those who do find work are more likely to have only part-time jobs or are on temporary contracts.

Others are leaving the country to find opportunities where the job markets are more accommodating.

Both Greece and Spain are enduring intense financial hardship despite efforts by international creditors to prop up their economies and despite EU attempts to stabilise banking systems.

The fear of losing a job or not finding one is pervasive throughout the EU.

More than six Europeans out of 10 believe that "the worst is still to come" when it comes to the impact of the economic crisis on the job market.

It is a view held by the vast majority in Belgium (78%), Greece (78%), and Portugal (79%). In Cyprus, where the national coffer is running dry, the figure almost hits 90 percent.

Citizens in eighteen member states rank unemployment as their number one greatest worry.

The fear of government debt came out on top only in Germany. And immigration figured among the top three concerns only in the United Kingdom.

Most Europeans do not believe the national economy will improve soon.

A large majority of Europeans think the financial and employment situation for next 12 months will remain the same and almost a quarter believe their personnel finances will diminish.

Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

More than two-thirds of the population in all three of these member states say that the situation of their national economies is good.

Opinion

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SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Eurozone chief in 'drinks and women' row

[Updated] The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces calls for resignation after saying that crisis-hit countries in southern Europe spent "money on drinks and women" before being helped by others.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

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