Euroscepticism on the rise in EU: Poll

PARIS (AFP) - Euroscepticism is on the rise in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, an opinion poll published by the French daily La Croix showed on Tuesday.

Most people questioned still consider membership of the 28-member European Union to be a good thing, according to the poll carried out by the Ifop institute, five years after the start of the lingering debt crisis.

However, there are growing levels of euroscepticism.

In Spain, 37 percent of respondents said EU membership was a bad thing, up from 26 percent in June 2012, rising to 43 percent in France (from 38 percent), 44 percent in eurozone powerhouse Germany (from 36 percent)and 45 percent in Italy (from 39 percent).

Italy has been stuck in recession for two years and officials are forecasting the economy will contract by a 1.4 percent overall in 2013.

In three of the four countries polled there was also a growing, though slightly smaller, minority wishing to see their country pull out of the euro common currency but in France just 33 percent of respondents wanted to leave, down from 35 percent in the previous year.

The Germans, who face a general election next week, were more optimistic overall than fellow EU citizens further south.

Only 31 percent of Germans thought their nation could see its economy experience the kind of problems that have beset Greece, which has suffered six years of recession and has required two international bailouts.

That figure rose to 54 percent among French respondents, 56 percent in Spain and 58 percent in Italy.

Ifop questioned about 1,000 people in each country from late August to early September.

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