September 17, 2012 / 8:34 AM / 6 years ago

German faith in euro and EU lags behind French: poll

BERLIN (Reuters) - Almost two thirds of Germans think their country would be better off without the euro, according to a poll published on Monday which highlighted growing unease in Europe’s largest economy about the costs of the euro crisis.

Shoppers rest with their purchases in downtown Hanover June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The survey for conservative daily Die Welt was carried out in July by TNS Emnid on just over 1,000 people each in the euro zone’s top two economies, Germany and France, and in Poland, which is a member of the European Union but outside the euro.

Despite the continued resilience of their economy during the euro debt crisis, Germans are increasingly upset about having to bail out weaker euro zone member states such as Greece and fear that the crisis may erode their savings.

In contrast to Germany, only 36 percent of French people polled thought France would fare better outside the common currency, the survey showed. The French were also more positive about the general benefits of EU membership than the Germans.

Just over one third of the French respondents believed they would be better off without the EU compared to 49 percent of Germans polled.

Poles have little enthusiasm for joining the single currency despite strong support for EU membership, the survey showed. Only 18 percent of Poles surveyed believed they would be better off swapping their zlotys for euros while 76 percent thought they would be in a somewhat worse or much worse situation.

But Poles are more optimistic about the job prospects offered by the EU than the French or Germans. Many Poles have moved west in search of better-paid jobs since their country joined the EU in 2004.

Only 24 percent of Poles thought their employment prospects would be easier without the EU, against 37 percent of Germans and 34 percent of French people surveyed.

Reporting by Stephen Brown, editing by Gareth Jones

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