Europe’s third-biggest economy has lost faith in Europe, a compelling new poll shows. Italy used to be one of the most europhilic countries going, but it’s now more eurosceptic than the famously sceptical United Kingdom.
When Italians were asked how much confidence they have in a list of institutions, just 27.4% said they have confidence in the EU, in comparison to 28% of Britons. The results come from a survey by Italian polling company Demos&Pi and newspaper La Repubblica.
Here’s how the six biggest countries in the EU break down. “Il Comune,” “La Regione,” “Lo Stato,” and “L’Unione Europea,” mean “cities,” “regions,” “state,” and the “European Union,” respectively.
You can see from the chart that just 13.8% of Italians polled have confidence in their own state — an amazingly low figure. Italians are still twice as confident in the EU as they are in their own government. In comparison, 64.8% of Germans believe in their government.
Italy’s economy had a lot of structural issues even before the financial and euro crises, but it’s now effectively been stagnant or in recession for nearly seven years, a poor performance even by European standards.
Despite the astonishing fall from grace, the majority of Italians still think the country should keep the euro:
53.8% say that while it’s complicated situation, the euro is necessary, but the number that are totally positive about the currency (11.1%) is massively outweighed by those who now think that Italy should leave (30.5%).
Interestingly, anti-euro sentiment runs highest in Germany, despite much stronger confidence in the EU as an institution.
Poland and Britain, on the other hand, are pretty happy with their decisions. The vast majority have a favourable view of their country’s decision not to join the euro:
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