Almost all Greeks think their economy is terrible

November 1, 2012

Recent reports from Greece read like something out of a post-apocalyptic nightmare: Doctors no longer get paid; marauding bands of right-wing groups beat up migrants; people try to make do without heating oil.

More than one in four people in Spain and Greece are out of work, and new numbers show that almost everyone in several Southern European countries is hopeless about the economic future.

A recent survey called the "Eurobarometer" found that people in the areas hardest hit by the debt crisis are almost universally pessimistic about their prospects, and they don't necessarily trust EU officials to help them figure out how the European Union's policies would affect them.

So, it may come as no surprise that almost 100 percent of Greeks -- and 99 percent of Spaniards -- think their national economy is "total bad."

Unemployment also continues to eclipse other concerns, like the environment and health care, in the minds of most southern Europeans.

Here's a chart showing the individuals who felt the environment was the most important issue for their region (lightest to darkest, from fewest people to most):

 And here's one showing those who felt that way about the unemployment rate:

Finally, it's interesting to see the faith that people in different parts of Europe have in their elected leaders. In the north, people seem to think that their national representatives are best able to explain the impact of European policies on their daily lives. But in France, the United Kingdom and other areas, people like to hear it from their local elected officials. And perhaps owing to the level of the economic crisis in those nations, neither Italians nor Greeks seemed to think that anyone had the answers:

For the survey, the European Commission interviewed 50,746 people by phone between Aug. 20 and Sept. 15.

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