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Weltschmerz und angst

Two of the better known words we have borrowed from our friends on the other side of the Rhine, and the latest Eurobarometer suggests that it is not entirely coincidental that it was the Teutons who came up with those words:

Q1 - Overall, in 20 years' time, would you say that people's lives in Germany will be better than today, or worse than today?

Worse - 68%. Unchanged - 10%. Better - 20%.

Majorities think things will be worse in Greece (67%), France (64%), Luxembourg (59%), Belgium and Italy (58%), Austria and the UK (56%), Cyprus (55%) and Portugal (53%).

In contrast, the Pollyannas of the EU hail from Tallinn, with 78% of Estonians thinking the future bright. The Republic of Ireland (67%) and Sweden (51%) were the only 'old' Europe countries with a majority optimistic. The Maltese disgraced themselves with a shocking 12% unable to express an opinion.

While these findings are faintly comic - precious few (any?) periods of 20 years in the last few centuries have not seen advances in health and living standards - the direction euroman and woman want politicians to take is far from funny:

'There should be stricter rules to ensure that everrybody's lifestyle is more respectful of the environment' (Compulsory saluting when passing a tree, maybe?) - 88% in agreement

'There should be policies ensuring that the gap between the rich and the poor is reduced significantly in our country' - 87%. Isn't the procrustean solution pretty?

'The EU should find ways of economic and social developement which depend less on the rest of the world' - 78%. A Socialist siege economy, with a side order of autarky? No thanks....

Perhaps the Germans have seen the future, and in the words of Leonard Cohen, 'it is murder'.


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Blogger Blue Eyes said... 11:37 am

advances in health and living standards

Not the only factors people include when deciding whether things are good or bad!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:51 am

BE - True. With a bit of luck, a following wind and if the creek don't rise I'll be well and truly retired 20 years from now.

Doubtless my income won't be as high, but the time / money trade off works for me.  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 1:04 pm

That wasn't *quite* what I meant...  

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