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French, Germans See Euro as ‘Bad Thing’ Amid Crisis, Poll Shows

French, Germans See Euro as ‘Bad Thing’ Amid Crisis, Poll
Fifty-five percent of Europeans voiced negative sentiments about the euro, according to a poll released today. Photographer: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

Majorities across Europe view the euro as a “bad thing” in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis that rattled the continent, a survey showed.

Fifty-five percent of Europeans voiced negative sentiments about the currency, led by a 60 percent disapproval rate in France and 53 percent in Germany, according to a poll released today by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Italian foundation Compagnia di San Paolo.

Majorities remained committed to the idea of a more united Europe, indicating that they don’t want to junk the 11-year-old single currency even as it serves as a focus for popular anger. Pollsters didn’t ask about the euro last year.

“If there was one casualty of the crisis in terms of the symbols and institutions of Europe, it was the euro,” said Bruce Stokes, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington. “But we shouldn’t over-interpret that: it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to abandon it.”

The ninth annual survey of 13,000 people was conducted in 11 EU countries, Turkey and the U.S. between June 1 and June 29. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

While 57 percent of European Union citizens felt the economic calamity should lead to a stronger, more integrated EU, only 39 percent want to see the main crisis-management decisions made at the European level.

One exception was Germany, the country footing the biggest share of the 860 billion euros ($1.1 trillion) in loans and pledges to prevent Greece’s fiscal woes from infecting the rest of Europe. Some 54 percent of Germans were in favor of European solutions.

‘European Ideal’

“The Germans have at least in theory still and philosophically bought into the European ideal,” Stokes said.

Other findings include:

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