Pessimism rules as we face up to grim reality
NINE out of 10 Irish people say the economic situation is bad and most predict it will get worse next year.
The findings of the EU social climate report reveal Irish people are among the most pessimistic in Europe.
Some 85pc feel the situation has deteriorated in the last five years, according to the report, published yesterday.
The survey, which was carried out in May and June last year, found broad geographical differences in how content people are in the EU.
Only Hungary and Latvia paint more gloomy pictures of their economies, while Denmark and Luxembourg are the most upbeat.
On average 78pc of people in Europe feel negatively about the state of the economy, the same percentage feel it has worsened since 2004 and 46pc fear a further downturn next year.
On the jobs front, 92pc in Ireland are convinced that the market is poor, 86pc say it got worse in the last five years, while 63pc expect it to get worse again next year, putting them just above Latvia at the bottom of the confidence scale.
The Netherlands and Denmark top the jobs table.
Irish people are also critical about how the country is run: 66pc say the state of public administration is bad, 52pc believe it has got worse over the last five years and 33pc feel it will deteriorate in the coming year.
Irish people rank healthcare poorly and judge the cost of living to be too high.
However, they are the most positive on house prices: 28pc say property will be more affordable in 2011.
"Policymakers should be concerned about the public's dissatisfaction with key social policy areas and their strongly negative view of how things are evolving in these areas," said the report by Eurostat.
But despite the grim figures on the economic front, 89pc of people in Ireland feel satisfied with their personal lives, the seventh-highest in Europe.