Tuesday

28th Mar 2017

Poll shows French slowly turning against euro

A majority of French people believe the switch to the euro five years ago was bad for their country, according to a recent poll, which suggests the French blame the common European currency for damaging economic growth and causing price hikes.

The TNS-Sofres survey published on Wednesday (27 December) by Le Pelerin magazine showed 52 percent of respondents said giving up the franc for the euro has been "quite bad" or "very bad" for France, up from 45 percent three years ago in a similar 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.

Fifty-one percent of the 1000 participants in the telephone poll said the single currency has been mainly harmful for economic prospects while 94 percent were convinced the euro has fuelled inflation.

These views come hand in hand with recent criticism expressed by French political leaders.

The presidential front-runners for next April's elections, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal, have both criticised the European Central Bank for harming economic growth with a series of interest rates increases.

Opinion trends similar across eurozone

Meanwhile, some opinions held by the French resemble those of their counterparts in other eurozone countries, five years after the euro coins and notes were introduced.

While a quarter of all French still think in francs "the whole time" when shopping - the TNT-Sofres poll showed - national currencies are used for calculations in major purchases most often by the Belgians (65%), by the Dutch (57%) and by Austrians (55%), according to a Eurobarometer poll published ahead of the 5th anniversary.

In Portugal, Germany and Italy about half or less use the euro as a mental benchmark for small shopping such as in grocery stores - on the other hand, 91 percent of the Irish use the euro only for such calculations.

The special Eurobarometer poll also suggested that the single currency is still influencing consumer habits across the eurozone with a third of citizens saying they buy less because of a fear of spending too much - but this number has dropped by 6 percent since 2005.

Altogether, the special survey found the lowest rate of approval for the euro since its introduction.

"While in 2002, 59% of the respondents in the eurozone thought that the new currency was overall advantageous for their country, currently only less than half of respondents hold such a favourable opinion," it concluded.

The euro is currently used in 12 EU countries and Slovenia will become the 13th eurozone member on 1 January.

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.

Greek bailout talks to 'intensify'

Greece and its creditors will meet in Brussels later this week to unblock negotiations needed for a new tranche of financial aid, amid concerns over the country's economic situation.

Varoufakis back in push for ECB transparency

The former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and German left-wing MEP Fabio De Masi want to know whether the European Central Bank overstepped its powers when putting capital controls on Greek banks in 2015.

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  2. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  3. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  4. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  6. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  7. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  8. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  10. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  11. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  12. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People