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Italians losing trust in the European Union

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Italians losing trust in the European Union
Only 27.4 percent of Italians trust the European Union. Europen Union photo: Shutterstock
14:13 CET+01:00
Only 27.4 percent of Italians trust the European Union – the lowest level among six EU countries polled by Demos, a Vicenza-based think-tank, and published in La Repubblica on Monday.

The figure is a slight dip from 29 percent last year, and compares to 28 percent in the UK; 40.5 percent in Spain; 42.1 percent in Poland; 43 percent in France, and 53.4 percent in Germany.

But it’s the Germans, despite their trust in the economic bloc, who lead the way when it comes to wanting to leaving the European single currency, with 36.8 percent saying the euro had "only brought complications" and they would like out, compared to 30.5 percent of Italians.

Still, 53.8 percent of Italians said that while the currency had created some problems, it was necessary for the EU, while just 11.1 percent said it had only brought advantages.

The results will still no doubt play into the hands of the leaders of both the insurgent Five Star Movement (M5S) and right-wing Northern League, who in recent months have called for Italy to exit the euro.

Beppe Grillo, the leader of the M5S, said in December that the party had gathered 50,000 signatures calling for a referendum on the currency, while Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Northern League, in the same month described the euro as a currency of "Germany and financial oligarchies".

He said he missed the days when Italy used the Lira as well as its galloping inflation rate which showed "people were working and consuming".

Disillusionment among recession-weary Italians for the EU has grown alongside concerns over jobs and their livelihood.

Fifty percent of Italians polled by Eurobarometer in a report last July said they did not feel like a citizen of the EU. 

The survey came two months after the European elections, which were marked by a rise in support for Eurosceptic parties, notably in the UK, France and Denmark. But the survey results were also seen as surprising for Italy as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s pro-European Democratic Party scooped 40.8 percent of Italian votes in the elections.

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