Most Surveyed in Six Countries—Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Greece and Spain—(55%) Agree Europe’s Current Debt Crisis is Indicative of Long-Standing Problems that Will Lead to Breakup of European Union

Half (50%) of those surveyed agree that they “support programs and policies aimed at cutting government spending to reduce public debt, instead of stimulating economic growth by increasing government spending”

Friday, May 25, 2012

Toronto, ON — In the shadow of economic turmoil and uncertainty in the Euro zone, a new poll of six key European nations – Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Greece and Spain—shows that a slim majority (55%) of those surveyed agree that "Europe’s current debt crisis is indicative of a series of long-standing political and economic problems that will lead to the breakup of the European Union.”—two in ten (20%) disagrees and one quarter (25%) neither agrees nor disagrees. The individual country results of those who believe the breakup will occur are led by Greece (65%) followed by Italy (61%), Great Britain (58%), Germany (53%) and Spain (49%).

Further, half (50%) of those surveyed agree that they “support programs and policies aimed at cutting government spending to reduce public debt, instead of stimulating economic growth by increasing government spending.”—the other half either disagrees (25%) or neither agrees nor disagrees (25%). But individual country rankings show the difference between EU members and the member not currently using the Euro: Germany (61%), France (58%), Italy (56%), Greece (53%), Spain (46%) and Great Britain (36%).

The poll was conducted by global research company Ipsos on behalf of and as a prelude to the Munk Debate which will occur Friday, May 25th in Toronto, Canada, as four major European voices appears in front of a 2,700 person audience to debate the motion: be it resolved, the European experiment has failed (see below for more details).

The Poll Details: The Average of the Countries Surveyed…

An average of half (55%) surveyed in the six countries agree that "Europe’s current debt crisis is indicative of a series of long-standing political and economic problems that will lead to the breakup of the European Union.”—two in ten (20%) disagrees and one quarter (25%) neither agrees nor disagrees.

Further, while an average slim majority (52%) of those surveyed agree that they “support programs and policies aimed at cutting government spending to reduce public debt, instead of stimulating economic growth by increasing government spending.” and the other half either disagrees (25%) or neither agrees nor disagrees (23%).

Further, an average half (50%) of those surveyed agree that they “support programs and policies aimed at cutting government spending to reduce public debt, instead of stimulating economic growth by increasing government spending.” The other half either disagrees (25%) or neither agrees nor disagrees (25%).

While a plurality (36%) agrees that “the institutions of the European Union and shared values of Europeans are capable of meeting the political and economic challenges brought on by the current debt crisis,” the rest disagree (32%) or neither agree nor disagrees (32%).

Respondents were asked to assess the thesis: “The European Union is an experiment that has failed.” The average of the six countries polled indicate that four in ten (41%) agree with the statement, three in ten (31%) disagree and three in ten (27%) say they neither agree nor disagree.

And, an average majority (61%) of those surveyed agrees that “my country should not be told by other countries in the European Union how to run our own economy.”—one quarter (23%) neither agree nor disagree with the statement and 16% disagree.

Individually, the Countries Surveyed Show the Following:

  • The EU member not using the Euro, Great Britain, has a strong majority (58%) who agree that “the current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems will lead to the breakup of the European Union”—with the remaining unsure (30%) or in disagreement (11%); a plurality are unsure if they support policies aimed at “cutting spending instead of stimulating growth” – 36% agree, 26% disagree and 38% neither agree nor disagree; of the six countries surveyed, is the most likely to agree (53%) that “the European Union experiment has failed”—three in ten (31%) remaining undecided and 16% saying they disagree; of the six countries surveyed, they are also most likely to agree (69%) that they should “not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy” (23% are unsure and only 8% disagree); and a plurality are unsure of whether or not they agree that “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis” – 20% agree it does, 36% disagree and 44% neither agree nor disagree.
  • In France a plurality (42%) agree that “the current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems will lead to the breakup of the European Union” (27% are unsure, 31% disagree); a majority (58%) agree they “support policies aimed at cutting spending instead of stimulating growth”— 20% disagree and 22% neither agree nor disagree; is least likely among the six countries surveyed to agree (34%) that the “European Union experiment has failed”, but also the only country with a plurality of respondents (40%) to disagree with the statement— 26% neither agree nor disagree; of all countries surveyed are most likely to agree (a plurality of 48%) that “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis” and have the lowest proportion of those who disagree (21%) – 31% neither agree nor disagree; and have a majority (64%) who agree they “should not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy” (23% are unsure and 13% disagree).
  • In Greece a majority (65%) agree that “the current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems will lead to the breakup of the European Union”—20% are unsure, 15% disagree; a majority (53%) agree that they “support policies aimed at cutting spending instead of stimulating growth” – 28% disagree and 18% neither agree nor disagree; a plurality (42%) agree that “the European Union experiment has failed”—31% disagree and 27% neither agree nor disagree; a majority (61%) agree they “should not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy”—18% are unsure and 21% disagree; and a plurality are unconvinced that “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis” – 47% disagree, 28% agree and 24% neither agree nor disagree.
  • Half (49%) of those in Spain agree that “the current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems will lead to the breakup of the European Union”—25% neither agree nor disagree and 26% disagree; only one in three (35%) agree that they “support policies aimed at cutting spending instead of stimulating growth” – a plurality (47%) disagree and 18% neither agree nor disagree; a plurality (42%) agree that “the European Union experiment has failed” while 35% disagree and 23% neither agree nor disagree; a majority agree (52%) they “should not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy”—21% are unsure and 27% disagree; and a plurality are unconvinced that “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis”– 46% disagree, 23% agree and 31% neither agree nor disagree.
  • A majority of those in Germany (53%) agree that the “current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems will lead to the breakup of the European Union”—26% are unsure, 21% disagree; a majority (61%) agree they “support policies aimed at cutting spending instead of stimulating growth” while three in ten (29%) neither agree nor disagree and 10% disagree; a plurality (40%) agree that “the European Union experiment has failed” while 34% disagree and 27% neither agree nor disagree; a majority (68%) agree they should “not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy” (25% are unsure and only 8% disagree); and a plurality (36%) agree “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis” – 34% disagree and 31% neither agree nor disagree.
  • In Italy, a majority (61%) agree that “the current crisis is indicative of long-standing problems that will lead to the breakup of the European Union”—24% neither agree nor disagree and 15% disagree; a majority (56%) agree they “support policies aimed at cutting spending instead of stimulating growth” while 21% disagree and 23% neither agree nor disagree; a plurality (38%) agree that “the European Union experiment has failed” while 32% disagree and 30% neither agree nor disagree; a majority (54%) agree they “should not be told by other countries in the EU how to run their own economy” while 28% are unsure and 18% disagree; and a plurality (39%) agree that “the EU is capable of meeting the challenges of the current debt crisis” –30% disagree and 31% neither agree nor disagree.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between on behalf of The Munk Debates. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. These are the findings of an Ipsos survey conducted between May 15th to May 23rd, 2012. The countries polled were France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece. For the results of the survey presented a European sample of 5,971 adults aged 18-64 were interviewed: Spain n=1,004, France n=981, Germany n=981, Italy n=1,003, Greece n=1,000. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of the specifically aged adults in that country been polled.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Global Public Affairs
416.324.2002
john.wright@ipsos.com

Rudyard Griffiths
Co-Organiser
The Munk Debates
416.737.9626
rudyard@munkdebates.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

About the Munk Debates

The survey was commissioned on behalf of the Munk Debates, the premiere international public debate series. On Friday, May 25th in Toronto, four major European voices will appear in front of 2,700 person audience to debate the motion: be it resolved, the European experiment has failed.

Arguing for the resolution will be Niall Ferguson, renowned economic historian, internationally-acclaimed author, and a prolific commentator on economics and politics. He will be joined by Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit and bestselling author. Speaking against the resolution, will be Lord Peter Mandelson. A Member of the House of Lord, Mandelson is the former E.U. Commissioner for Trade. Mandelson will be joined by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-president of the Greens/Free European Alliance Group in the European Parliament.

The debate is being broadcast live on the Internet starting at 11:00 PM GMT via the web address: www.munkdebates.com/live. A Twitter feed of the entire debate proceedings also will be available at @munkdebates. For more information on the debate visit www.munkdebates.com.


Most Surveyed in Six Countries—Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Greece and Spain—(55%) Agree Europe’s Current Debt Crisis is Indicative of Long-Standing Problems that Will Lead to Breakup of European Union

Contact

John Wright
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1.416.324.2002
john.wright@ipsos.com