Irish among most pessimistic in EU about economy - survey...
IRISH PEOPLE are among the most pessimistic in Europe about the economic and employment situation in their country and most people expect the situation to be worse in 12 months’ time, new EU research suggests.
Although the research also suggests that the Irish are among the most satisfied Europeans with the area they live in, contentment with the public administration is very low and the cost of living is a major source of unhappiness.
In a report drawn up amid signs that the world’s worst recession since the 1930s may be bottoming out, the European Commission warns that the social consequences of the downturn may take months or even years to manifest themselves fully. Irish attitudes to the situation were gauged in a survey of 1,007 people in May and June last year, following months of bad economic news.
Some 90 per cent of Irish respondents described the situation as bad, one of seven countries in which nine out of 10 people or more judge the economic situation to be negative. The other states were Spain, Lithuania, Greece, Portugal, Hungary and Latvia, where 98 per cent of people deem the situation to be bad.
While the research suggests most citizens in all 27 EU member states say the situation is worse than five years ago, Ireland ranks among eight countries in which this is most pronounced. Similarly, most respondents in a majority of EU states declared the employment situation in their country to be bad. Again, Ireland ranked among the nine countries in which this was most prevalent.
The commission says confidence in the EU reached an extreme low point in autumn 2008, as the financial crisis reached its climax.
“Since then, confidence has picked up again, but remains at a very low level. People’s expectations about their job situation follow the trend in employment growth, as do their expectations about the employment situation in the country over the next year.” While declaring that Europeans are on average broadly satisfied with their personal situation, the commission warns unemployment in the EU is likely to rise further.
Report by ARTHUR BEESLEY - Irish Times