Monday

16th Sep 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy
  2. Juncker to meet Johnson on Monday
  3. First Hungary 'Article 7' hearing set for Monday
  4. Vestager picks Danish EU ambassador as cabinet head
  5. Commissioner hearings will start 30 September
  6. Italy says EU countries agree to take in rescued migrants
  7. Germany to organise Libya conference on arms embargo
  8. European Parliament to support another Brexit delay

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  2. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  3. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  4. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  5. Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession
  6. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity
  7. The Catalan National Day has been a success. Why?
  8. Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us