The significance of the survey is that it covers the six largest countries in the European Union whose combined populations make up 70 percent of the union. And the news is bad. Really, really bad.
It’s bad in creditor countries like Germany and debtor countries like Spain. The percentages are stunning in Spain, where the negative index tripled, but in the European Union it has entered decisively negative territory reaching nearly 70 percent. And the rise of the UKIP and the attacks on it are symptoms of that.
The only country in the six which hasn’t entered decisively negative territory is newbie Poland. But in the core power nations, the UK, France and Germany; the negatives are well above 50 percent.
José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, said on Tuesday this week the European “dream” was under threat from a “resurgence of populism and nationalism” across the EU. “At a time when so many Europeans are faced with unemployment, uncertainty and growing inequality, a sort of ‘European fatigue’ has set in, coupled with a lack of understanding. Who does what, who decides what, who controls whom and what? And where are we heading to?”
Some of this can be attributed to the general unpopularity of any government when events trend downward. But that unpopularity can be and is being converted into political power.
The rise of the UKIP and the decline of Labour tells the story in the UK. Euroskepticism is gaining a hold on the public imagination which sees nations and governments and peoples stifled by insane regulatory regimes. If the system isn’t keeping people afloat, the mandate to cut themselves loose from it grows.