Public discontent: Europeans think euro is bad news
Annual research by the German Marshall Fund, a Washington-based think tank, found that despite another difficult year for most economies in the European Union, nearly two-thirds of Europeans still considered membership in the EU good for their economies.
However, only 37% of those polled in EU countries thought the unified currency had been, to those in the eurozone, or would be, to those outside the euro zone, a good thing for their country’s economy.
A majority of 57% thought it had been or would be a bad thing.
Germany (53%, up five percentage points) and Slovakia (54%) were the only countries where a majority of those polled said using the euro had been beneficial to their economies.
More than half of Spanish (57%), Portuguese (55%), French (52%) and Italian (51%) respondents said the euro had hurt their economies.
Respondents outside the eurozone were increasingly likely to think the unified currency would be bad for them. In the UK, 89% of respondents approve of the country's choice against joining the euro, along with Sweden (84%, up 17 points), Poland (71%, up 19 points) and Bulgaria (a plurality of 45%, down 1 point).
Meanwhile, when Europeans were asked whether they approved of the way German Chancellor Angela Merkel had handled the economic crisis, a majority (52%) said they approved of her actions. Her approval ratings were highest in the Netherlands (74%), Bulgaria (66%), France (64%), Germany (63%) and Sweden (61%).
Disapproval rates, on the other hand, were highest in troubled Italy and Spain (both 63%) and Portugal (61%), three of the countries hit hardest by the economic crisis. However, a majority in Poland (57%) and Slovakia (52%), and a plurality in the United Kingdom (47%) also supported her.