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13th Apr 2024

Germans blame EU for economic problems

  • Germans associate fears of job losses and weaker social benefits with Brussels (Photo: EUobserver)

A large majority of Germans associate the European Union with economic and social problems and as many as 84 percent fear jobs may be lost to EU countries where labour costs are lower.

The figures appeared in a Eurobarometer study carried out on behalf of the European Commission and seen by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung.

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In the survey 64 percent said they saw loss of social standards and benefits as a problem. The European Union was not a solution to this, but rather part of the negative development.

The survey was carried out among 1,534 citizens in October and November 2005. It showed that one in two Germans expected further European integration could result in an economic crisis.

Fears of job-losses are generally leading to scepticism towards widening the bloc, with 59 percent saying no further enlargement should take place in the years ahead.

German business also noted negative impressions on Brussels.

In a survey among members of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, a central organisation for 81 chambers, 76 percent said that the EU "interferes too much into business."

Published by daily newspaper Die Welt, the poll showed a majority of 58 percent would like harmonised environmental rules in Europe and also harmonised tax-rules. But only 9 percent wanted labour market rules to be uniform across the EU.

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