EU SPLIT: Italy’s trust in Germany plummets as Italians feel less European – shock survey

The lack of confidence in Angela Merkel’s Government comes as the north-south rift between EU member states continues to deepen amid the crisis. Only around a quarter (26 percent) of Italians said they trusted Germany in a survey conducted by the Demos & Pi Institute for Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper. This marked a drop of 16 percentage points from a similar survey carried out in January 2019.

The daily newspaper in one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries in the COVID-19 epidemic carried the results in a report saying: “Italians feel less and less European.”

It said the pandemic, which has killed more than 30,000 Italians and wreaked havoc on its economy, has “further exacerbated the disappointment with the euro”.

Italian sociologist Ilvo Diamanti said the lack of trust among Italians is a direct consequence of the behaviour of northern nations.

Since the virus hit member states there has been a striking lack of solidarity within the eurozone.

Governments across the bloc have struggled to unite to form a common response.

The rift has once again shone a spotlight on the differing attitudes to debt among countries in the north and poorer nations in the south.

Italy and Spain, where the death toll stands at 26,920, felt abandoned by the bloc.

Given the sheer scale of the crisis in the two countries, they felt particularly frustrated by being given the cold shoulder by Germany and the Netherlands.

The survey also showed three in 10 Italians (31 percent) had trust in the United States, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

This figure was down seven points since the survey in January 2019.

Italians’ confidence in Russia was put at 28 percent, marking a slight gain.

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And trust in China also increased slightly since the outbreak of coronavirus.

Beijing and Moscow quickly sent relief supplies to Italy after the crisis broke out.

While several COVID-19 patients in Italy have been taken to Germany for treatment it seems like the gesture was too little for Italians.

The EU dispute over financial aid for Italy is likely what weighed heavily on the minds of voters.

It is worth noting that Italian’s confidence in their own government is not exactly impressive either.

Another survey conducted by the Odoxa Institute for the French newspaper Le Figaro showed only half of Italians think their government “is up to the task”.

The Institute questioned Germans about what they thought about their leaders and six in 10 had confidence in them to lead during the crisis.

In the UK 63 percent of respondents said they trusted Boris Johnson’s administration to make the right choices.

French President Emmanuel Macron gained only 34 percent of votes when asked about how confident they felt about his leadership.

Seventy-two percent of Germans believe Mrs Merkel and her team have “set the bar for the seriousness of the situation”, while only 48 percent of French people said the same.

Odoxa surveyed 3,005 Europeans representing the population of each country on May 5 and 6 in France and from April 30 to May 4 in the other countries.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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