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No surprises as trust in the EU falls to a record low within the six biggest EU countries


The UK no longer has pole position for euroskepticism, since Spain now wears the yellow jersey.  I am mixing my sporting metaphors somewhat, but the story from Eurobarometer reported in the Guardian, compares recent sentiment toward the EU with where it stood 5 years ago.  There is no prize for guessing that distrust of the EU has risen in each one of the six major countries, in some cases spectacularly.  These countries hold between them two-thirds of the EU’s population.  The rise in mistrust even applies to countries which have historically been strongly pro-EU, with nearly three out of five Germans and close on three out of four Spaniards now distrusting the EU.

Some of the rise in mistrust can perhaps be attributed to rising unemployment and anxiety about the future, but there is also growing dislike of the anti-democratic nature of an EU which allows technocrats from Brussels to override elected national parliaments in imposing austerity demands.  Not surprisingly some Eurocrats see dangers in a resurgence of popular nationalism to counter the over-reach of a supra-national bureaucracy.  Astonishingly, many of those committed to political union want to press on regardless with increased federalism.  The poll figures on what the people of Europe think, as opposed to what the apparatchiks think, indicate quite clearly that it is all very likely to end in tears.  I doubt whether many of those tears will be shed in the UK…


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