In a Bloomberg/YouGov pan-European poll of eurozone members Germany and France and non-eurozone members Britain and Denmark, the European public reported dissatisfaction with government action in the crisis and many want to eject Greece from the eurozone.
Germans are particularly harsh on their government’s performance giving low marks for the actions of the Merkel government (15% approve; 75% disapprove) and the information given about the crisis (19% approve; 75% disapprove). In the three other countries polled, only Denmark supported its government’s actions (39% approve; 36% disapprove). France (35% approve; 47% disapprove) and Britain (33% approve; 41% disapprove) were not as supportive.
More Bailouts to Save the Eurozone?
As to whether bailouts should again be used – even if they were necessary to keep the eurozone intact – sentiment was united in opposition. Germans (20% saying yes; 59% saying no), Britons (13% yes; 65% no), and French (27% yes; 47% no) were strongly opposed, while only Denmark showed less strong opposition (32% yes; 42% no).
“The worry for investors is the uncertainty around whether the ECB [European Central Bank] will support further bailouts,” said Michael Nardis, head of YouGov investment products. “Public sentiment is overwhelmingly against any more bailouts, particularly given the rest of Europe’s anger directed at Greece, making this an increasingly combustible situation. Investors should consider putting some discount factor on the likelihood of further bailouts given the political climate.”
Anger Toward Greece
Furthermore, over half of the German public and nearly half of the French, British and Danish public want to boot Greece out of the eurozone. Over half (58%) of Germans, followed by 45% of French, 45% of Britons, and 43% of Danes support ejecting Greece from the common currency.
When asked about the remaining countries in distress – Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain – respondents were much more supportive, as Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain received at least 75% support across all four countries questioned.
France and Germany Not Ready to Leave the Euro
While there is significant support for expelling Greece from the common currency, euro stalwarts France and Germany remain supportive of the euro itself. Only 31% of French supported withdrawing from the eurozone (while 53% supported staying in it). In Germany, 44% supported dropping the euro compared with 48% who supported keeping the euro.
Outside the eurozone, Britons and Danes remain opposed to joining the eurozone (only 9% of Britons approve to 85% disapproving; 37% of Danes want to join to 61% disapproving). This is among the lowest support YouGov has recorded for the euro.
“Despite the sentiment about bailouts, French and German citizens are still supportive of remaining in the common currency,” said Nardis. “While this crisis has done nothing to attract British or Danish support for the euro, investors should have confidence in the short run that a complete breakdown of the eurozone appears unlikely. However, they should continue to monitor German public support – which is wavering.”
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