Monday

22nd May 2017

North-South economic divide in Europe confirmed by poll

A deep North-South economic divide in Europe was confirmed in a fresh economic survey published on Tuesday (9 August).

In the survey, conducted pre-Brexit, more than eight-in-ten in Greece, France and Spain described their country’s economic situation as bad, while most Swedes, Germans and Dutch said their economy is doing well, according to the new Pew Research Center survey.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Greeks stand out as the least happy nation, only 2% said the Greek economy was doing well.

In order to change the current divide Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras last week was reported to be seeking interest to form an alliance of Southern European EU states to counter the stance of Northern Europe countries.

The north-south malaise was also highlighted in figures recently cited by Financial Times' Martin Wolf, showing between 2007 and 2016, real GDP per head is forecast to rise 11 per cent in Germany, stagnate in France and fall by 8 per cent and 11 per cent in Spain and Italy respectively.

In seven of ten European countries surveyed by Pew roughly half or less saw their country’s economic situation as good, with only 12% in France and 13% in Spain giving their economy a positive rating.

In contrast, Northern Europeans in general were more positive about their economic situation.

Swedes and Germans appeared the most confident in their respective economies among the European Union countries surveyed; 76% in Sweden and 75% in Germany said the economic situation was good. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) in the Netherlands also expressed this view.

British and Polish views were much more positive than three years ago, according to the PEW survey, as many as 49% of the Poles and 47% of the Brits said the current economic situation was good.

The survey also revealed a gender gap, men overall seeing the economic situation as better than the woman. In the UK, 52% of men saw the economic situation as good, whereas only 43% of British women felt the same.

Similarly, in Germany, France and Spain there is an 8-point gender gap, with men feeling more positively about the country’s economy than their female counterparts.

Across the Atlantic, a modest 44% of Americans currently think the US economic situation is good, while the Chinese (87%) and Indians (80%) were positively rosy about their countries’ economies, while in Japan only 30% were confident in the economy.

The survey was conducted by Pew Research Center, in 16 countries among 20,132 respondents from 4 April to 29 May 2016, prior to the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum to exit the EU.

Italy presents anti-austerity roadmap

In a document published Monday, Matteo Renzi's government calls for growth policies and cost sharing of the migrant crisis.


Dutch to attack German and French budget deficits

On Monday, The Netherlands repeated its harsh criticism of the large budget deficits of Germany and France. In a TV interview, German finance minister Hans Eichel admitted that it will be very difficult to get the country's budget deficit under three percent in 2004

Eurozone activity high after Brexit

Economic activity reached a seven-month high in August in the eurozone, but manufacturing and employment show signs of weakness. In the UK, exports have helped manufacturing activity.

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  2. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  4. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  5. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  6. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  7. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  8. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Cost of Speaking Out: Human Rights Violations Committed in Belarus
  10. ACCABanishing Bias? Audit, Objectivity and the Value of Professional Scepticism
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Oslo Climate Declaration Focuses on Rising Temperatures in the Arctic
  12. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceAbdominal Obesity: A Causal Risk Factor for Cardiometabolic Diseases