In spite of the loss of condence
in the EU, Italians want more, notless, Europe.
present all over Europe, but is more acute in the Southernregion.
Te support in Italy or Beppe Grillo and his Five-StarMovement, not a party in the traditional sense, whichplaced third in the recent Italian elections, has been inter-preted as a vote against the euro. However, this interpreta-tion is too simplistic, even though Grillo himsel has askedor a reerendum on the single currency in his country.According to a poll published by
Il Corriere della Sera
,69 percent o Italians think a reerendum on Italy’s euromembership would be “a negative thing.”
I the reer-endum were to take place, 74 percent o Italians would vote to stay in the euro – including 73 percent o Five-StarMovement voters – with only 16 percent in avor o leavingthe euro.
In spite o the loss o condence in the EU,Italians want more, not less, Europe. But that also meansthat more integration has to go hand-in-hand with moresolidarity.Te Italian vote in February 2013 was clearly directedagainst the policies o austerity and against excessivesacrices, despite the act that both the Partito Democrataand Silvio Berlusconi’s People o Freedom party supportedausterity measures in the previous Parliament. But it isclear that Grillo voters were signaling their dissatisactionwith austerity, as were the voters or Syriza in Greece, andor Izquierda Unida in Spain. However, it is also importantto note that Greece is the only country so ar that has seena simultaneous rise o extremist political parties, on the arle as well as the ar right.
9 G. Jones, “Italians say no to referendum on euro membership — poll,” Reuters, March
Furthermore, Spanish mistrust in the EU has grown to72 percent, 10 points more than a year earlier.
But it issignicant that 67 percent
support the idea o staying inthe euro. Such seemingly contradictory positions partially stem rom the act that citizens mistrust their own nationalinstitutions even more than the EU. Tis phenomenon alsoexplains why those countries were among the most pro-European in the EU beore the crisis. Now, however, thereappears to be a growing negative consensus on Europe inthese societies.Tere is room to recover public trust in Europe i the EUmanages to successully overcome the crisis, and to avoidrepeating what happened in Cyprus in early 2013. Paradox-ically, or those countries that have suered the most romthe euro crisis, the euro might serve as the ramework orrecovery o their aith in Europe. Te support or the eurois strong, as the latest report rom the Pew Research Survey shows,
but it is the overall trust in the EU that is slipping.I these countries see that the EMU progresses towards areal banking, scal, and economic union, and the EU doesmore to ght unemployment, especially youth unemploy-ment, then Europe will be seen again as part o the solutionto their national problems.Yet, or the moment, there is a clear deterioration o support toward the EU throughout the peripheral coun-tries. wo out o three Spaniards expressed high condencein the EU in 2007. Tis result is in stark contrast to thending rom the all o 2012, when 72 percent expressed amistrust o the Union.
Only 20 percent o Spanish citizenstrusted the EU (although it should be noted that only 11percent trusted their national government).
In general,trust in national government is lower in the Southerncountries (Italy, 17 percent; Spain, 11 percent; Greece,7 percent; Portugal, 22 percent; and Cyprus, 6 percent),
whether they wanted to keep the euro as their currency, 67 percent in Spain agreed,