At least five - but probably almost all - of these smiling leaders are highly unpopular in their own countries
The Guardian has published the results of a poll showing that people in five EU countries are fed up with their present leaders:
Europe´s hope of a better future is faltering, as the financial crisis and spending cuts bite, according to a Guardian/ICM poll of five leading EU countries. It finds trust in government at rock bottom and widespread fear of further economic decline. Few people are convinced that the present signs of recovery can be sustained.---
Carried out at the start of a month-long Guardian series examining Europe in the wake of recession, the poll makes it clear that few Europeans believe the worst of the economic crisis is over. A majority are also against immediate cuts in government spending.The result is a crisis in European democracy. While people are divided on the need for state spending cuts and the speed with which they should take place, very few in the five states surveyed trust their politicians to deal with the problems facing their countries – or even their honesty.
Only 6% of people across Europe say they have a great deal of trust in their government, 46% say they have not very much and 32% none at all. Only 9% of Europeans think their politicians – in opposition or in power – act with honesty and integrity.
The lack of trust in government is greatest in Poland and France, where distrust outweighs trust by a net 82 percentage points. In France, the net negative score is 78 points and in Germany 80 points. Only Britain breaks the consensus somewhat, with a net negative score of 66 points.
Looking at what has been going on in the European Union during the last decade or so, what else could one expect?
What is interesting, however, is the way the pro EU Guardian spins the results of the poll when it comes to people´s views on the Europen Union:
It (the poll) paints a picture of a continent confident in its liberal values and still mostly committed to EU institutions such as the euro and the free movement of people between states, but notably hostile to state spending and political leaders.
It is true that the majority of people in three euro countries in this poll were still positive towards retaining the euro. (However, the latest reliable German poll shows that 68% of the Germans have little or no confidence in the euro).
The only other EU question in the Guardian poll seems to have been this one:
I do NOT approve of people moving from one EU country to another to look for work
I approve of people moving to an EU country from outside
It is preposterous to make the sweeping generalization - "still mostly committed to EU institutions" - based on this kind of questions. And the people at the pro EU Guardian seem to realize this, since they publish this "disclaimer":
The poll focused on national attitudes rather than those to the EU as a whole.
It would have been honest to leave out the pro EU spin altogether!
Red the entire article here.