According to reports by the Berlin-based organization called Transparency International (TI), the European public has been slowly losing trust in their governmental institutions. Nations that are more indebted have a worse situation. This is happening majorly due to Eurocrisis that has pushed this faith below the global average levels. In 107 countries, TI conducted surveys on about 114,000 people. The results show that merely 22 percent of them believe in the capability of their government to fight corruption. While in Spain, this number is 8 percent, it is 13 percent in Italy. Residents of Greece and Portugal have displayed the most distrust, where the number of people believing in government efforts is at the lowest 1 percent.
It is not just the story of southern Europe’s countries that needed bailouts from European Union, but also of other prosperous nations like France, Britain, and even Germany! The all-time lows were displayed by Greece where around 90 percent of people surveyed shared that their political parties are involved in corruption. The whole of Europe has been displaying this sense of political adrift. There is anger in almost all these countries, while the reasons may slightly vary. On one hand, Greek and Spanish people have come to the streets protesting; and on the other hand, booming countries like Germany think that they will have to bear the brunt of fiscal irresponsibility that other nations are displaying.
Looking at several domestic affairs that involve corruption, 55 percent of respondents feel that these institutions are being run on the basis of special interests of politicians. France’s former junior budget minister, Jerome Cahuzac who admitted to tax evasion, led to major anger among the public. Such conditions are worrisome, especially when Europe is undergoing crisis and governments need public support. Results similar to the above have also been displayed by other public opinion surveys, apart from the TI survey. These all show a dwindling trust of European public in their governments.
As per a latest Pew poll, it can be seen that the favorability of the European Union has drastically come down to 45 percent from the last year’s 60 percent. The poll results also show that the government’s leadership has constantly remained under doubt during the crisis in many of the European countries. There were only German people who were a bit positive about their leadership run by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The only thing that came out positive in the TI poll was that nine out of 10 respondents were ready to act against corruption. Thus, the major thing that governments need to learn in Europe is that their leaders should lead such a way that sets examples to instill a positive belief among the general public. People need to feel that the overall efforts are going well for them.