New York Times
May 29, 2012
More than two years into a euro crisis that has toppled governments and sown economic pain, citizens of five euro zone countries — including Greece — say the euro has not been a good thing for them, but nevertheless do not want to go back to their old currencies, according to a survey to be released Tuesday.
Greece, the country most at risk of falling out of the euro, typified the contradiction. There, people were most likely to say that their country had been weakened by European economic integration. Yet support for the euro was highest, the poll found, perhaps showing Greek preferences as they head into new parliamentary elections on June 17 that could determine their future in the currency union.
In fact, despite the financial troubles currently facing Europe, majorities in the five euro zone countries in the survey favored keeping the single currency, ranging from 52 percent in Italy to 71 percent in Greece, according to the poll, which was carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project.
The survey did not explain the seeming contradiction in people’s attitudes, but Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center in Washington, suggested that risk aversion might play a role.
“They realize it would be a leap into the dark” to lose the euro, he said.