Skip to main content

Study: Many Germans believe they are worse off in euro

By Barry Neild, CNN
December 9, 2011 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A poll reveals Germans have mixed feelings about the euro.
A poll reveals Germans have mixed feelings about the euro.
  • Poll: 42% of Germans say their economy worse off under euro
  • Study commissioned by CNN shows Greeks, Portuguese, Irish more positive
  • Germans also largely opposed to concept of a more federal Europe

(CNN) -- Almost half of German people believe that their country's economy would be in a better position today if it hadn't joined the euro, according to the findings of a survey commissioned by CNN.

About the same number of Germans is also opposed to a more tight-knit "United States of Europe," along lines favored by their leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel. The concept enjoys stronger backing in poorer countries such as Spain and Greece, the study found.

The research conducted by ComRes and released on a day that saw European leaders agree to strengthen financial ties to ward off financial crisis, shows opinions broadly divided along lines of national wealth across the continent.

Read more about the eurozone's new deal

While wealthier nations, including France and Germany, express negative views towards the health of their economies within the 17-nation eurozone, bail-out recipients such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal have a generally positive view.

Asked if their country's economy would be in a better position today had it not joined the euro, 42% of Germans and an identical number of French agreed, while fewer disagreed.

Just 33% agreed in Greece, 27% in Ireland and 36% in Portugal, with all three countries showing strong support for greater European financial cooperation.

However, German ambivalence towards the single currency is highlighted by another question that reveals 47% in favor of their country's decision to join the euro. Similar support is seen in Spain, with 49%, Ireland with 54%, Italy with 52% and Portugal with 47%.

Questioned about a move towards a more federal Europe, 64% of people polled in Spain and 49% in Greece said they would like to see further powers centralized, while only 36% of Germans and 35% of French agreed.

Other findings from the poll, which interviewed 1,429 adults in seven European countries earlier this month, include:

•European opinion is split over whether to remain in the euro. Most Italians think they should continue to be a member indefinitely. Only 34% of French people polled are in favor.

•Across Europe, people are more likely to trust EU officials than politicians or officials in their own country.

•More then 8 in 10 people agree eurozone countries need to work together to ensure the euro survives.

View full details of the CNN/ComRes euro crisis poll here

Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1943 GMT (0343 HKT)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the eurozone's problems are not solved, but "we are in a much better shape than we used to be some years ago."
September 4, 2013 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
The G20 is held in Russia but, amid disagreements over Syria, can anything be done? John Defterios investigates.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Summer could not have come soon enough for Lloret de Mar, a tourist resort north of Barcelona. Despite the country's troubles, it's partying.
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
The euro club has suffered major shockwaves but its newest member has emerged as an economic star. What;s behind Estonia's success?
May 29, 2013 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)
The global recovery has two speeds: That of the stimulus-fed U.S. and that of the austerity-starved eurozone, according to a new report.
May 14, 2013 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
The flags of the countries which make up the European Union, outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The "rich man's club" of Europe faces economic decay as it struggles to absorb Europe's "poor people", according to economic experts.
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Europe's competitiveness is threatened as manufacturing companies scrambling to find enough skilled engineers.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Spain's economic crisis is in its sixth straight year yet tourism, worth 11% of GDP, is holding its own, one of the few bright spots on a bleak horizon.
May 2, 2013 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
As European financial markets close for the spring celebration of May Day, protesters across Europe and beyond have taken to the streets to demonstrate.
April 26, 2013 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
As Croatia prepares to enter the 27-nation European Union, the country's Prime Minister says Italy must return to being the "powerhouse of Europe."
April 25, 2013 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Spain's unemployment rate rose to a record high of 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013, the Spanish National Institute of Statistics said Thursday.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
The financial uncertainty in Cyprus is generating images of long lines at ATM machines and anti-European Union protests.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Cyprus will "step up efforts in areas of fiscal consolidation." Where have we heard that before? Oh yes. Greece.
March 23, 2013 -- Updated 0139 GMT (0939 HKT)
The Cyprus debt crisis is being felt by the banks but also by the people who work at them. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
March 22, 2013 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on a Russian hotel maid caught up in Cyprus' financial crisis.
March 18, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Never underestimate the capacity of the Eurozone to shoot itself in both feet, says CNN's Richard Quest.
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
Spain has seen hundreds of protests since the "Indignados" movement erupted in 2011, marches and sit-ins are now common sights in the capital.