Friday September 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Euro bailouts cause Germans more angst than Ukraine, poll finds

Germans are much more worried about how the lingering effects of the eurozone crisis will impact their pockets than the risk of getting involved in foreign conflicts like Ukraine, according to an annual survey of German angst released on Thursday.

Even though the debt crisis in the currency zone has ebbed, and been replaced by Ukraine in the news headlines, six out of 10 were concerned about the impact on German taxpayers of eurozone bailouts. Less than four in 10 worried about Ukraine.

That may reflect public confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel's cautious approach to the West's stand-off with Russia over Ukraine. She rules out a military solution and has tried to maintain dialogue with President Vladimir Putin.

Enduring worry about the euro crisis, on the other hand, may explain the rise of Alternative for Germany (AfD), a Eurosceptic party which has won seats in the European Parliament and took votes from Merkel's conservatives in a state election in Saxony.

"People have their own view, which differs from politicians and the people in charge of economic and monetary policy who say debt is under control and the bailout policy is working," said Manfred Schmidt, a politics professor from Heidelberg.

Analysing the "Fear of the Germans" poll carried out for the insurance company R+V at a news conference, he said the bailout scheme had calmed fears of an existential threat to the currency itself, but people know this will cost German taxpayers a lot."

As Europe's biggest economy, Germany has to make the biggest contribution to bailouts for struggling eurozone states such as Greece. Merkel insisted on tough fiscal reforms in return and is currently resisting a push from the likes of France and Italy to relax such fiscal discipline in order to generate growth.

The annual angst poll of 2,400 people carried out since 1992 often shows the cost of living to be the top concern. This year was no exception and the trend is explained by the rising cost of fuel, food and the budget for state welfare, Schmidt said.

But overall German angst levels are at their lowest level in the past 20 years: 39 percent of respondents admitted to feeling high overall anxiety levels versus 50 percent at the start of the crisis in the European single currency zone in 2010.

Only 35 percent feared Germany could get embroiled in a war, a two-point rise Schmidt said was statistically insignificant.

Asked specifically about Ukraine, 37 percent were worried about a violent conflict there, which was at a much lower level than concerns expressed about money, health or growing old.

Rita Jakli, in charge of the survey for R+V, said Germans were much more sanguine about the crisis in Ukraine than back in 1999, when Germany got involved in NATO peacekeeping in Kosovo and the poll detected "war angst" among six out of 10 Germans.

Germans' particular abhorrence of military conflict dates to World War Two, which was started by Hitler's Germany and devastated the country and much of Europe.

Merkel has repeatedly ruled out any military solution to the standoff with Russia over Ukraine, though she is helping to arm Kurds in northern Iraq fighting the Islamic State insurgency.

"Most of the German population are clear pacifists and are well-informed about Western security policy and know it will not risk any major military conflict over Ukraine," said Schmidt. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Friday September 5, 2014 (11:27)  
Claims that high profile personalities escape punishment to be probed
Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Samaras heads to Azerbaijan for two-day visit
OPAP, Intralot bid for Greek horse race betting licence
Greece's privatization agency has received two binding bids for the country's horse race betting licence after scrapping a previous tender last month due to a lack of sufficient interest. Th...
Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
Finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis signaled Greece may forego International Monetary Fund emergency loans in 2015 and 2016 in order to secure an exit from the terms of its bailout. The IMF ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their countrys independence or whether they will remain citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. What was alread...
EDITORIAL
Breathing room
Even Greeces biggest critics find it hard to deny that the debt-hit country has achieved an unprecedented fiscal turnaround within a very short period of time. Sure, progress in promoting t...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Claims that high profile personalities escape punishment to be probed
2. OPAP, Intralot bid for Greek horse race betting licence
3. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
4. NBG-owned Finansbank looks into possible secondary public offering
5. Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
6. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
more news
Today
This Week
1. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
2. ECB eyes banks capital quality as target for supervisory power
3. Samaras heads to Azerbaijan for two-day visit
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
6. Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.