07.11.2013 - Latest euro area Eurobarometer survey confirms positive trend in overall appreciation of the euro for own country
In the latest Flash Eurobarometer 386 survey carried out in early October 2013, some 15000 respondents across the 17 euro area countries were interviewed by phone. Citizens replied to a set of questions focusing on issues ranging from perception and practical aspects of the euro to their assessment of the economic situation, policy and reforms in their country and in the euro area. In addition, citizens were asked about their views and expectations regarding household income and inflation.
Overall positive trend but significant differences between countries
The economic and financial crisis notwithstanding, respondents' overall assessment of the euro for their own country continues on the positive trend of recent years, with the public perception in this regard at its second highest since the introduction of the survey in 2002. A clear majority also sees the euro as good for the EU as a whole. There are nevertheless important differences between the 17 countries.
More than half (57%) of those living in the euro area regard the euro as good for their own country. On the other hand, one in three (33%) says that it is bad, while 7% say that they can't decide. These findings confirm the positive trend since 2008 and represent a further positive shift in opinion since the last wave in 2012, when 55% described the euro as good for their country and 35% said that it is bad. With the exception of Portugal and the Republic of Cyprus, more than half of respondents in each of the euro area countries say that having the euro is good for their country.
Majority of Estonian citizens support the euro
Among these 15 countries with a majority supporting the euro, Estonia, the most recent euro area member, shows the strongest upward change to 58 % (+12 percentage points), while Greece shows the strongest downward change to 58 % (- 9 percentage points).
General agreement on economic reforms, less so on modalities
Asked about their views on economic policy coordination at EU level and necessary economic reforms, a majority of respondents in all countries think that there should be more coordination of economic policy, including budgetary policies. In particular, there is broad agreement on labour market reforms and that governments need to save more today in order to prepare public finances for the ageing of populations.
However, respondents are strongly opposed to increasing the retirement age - 71% disagree with this idea, while a quarter (26%) agree.