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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Irish optimistic about future of EU and most likely to have positive image of bloc

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Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Irish people remain the most optimistic about the future of the European Union, with 77pc upbeat about the bloc's prospects.

We're also the most likely of all to have a positive image of the EU, at 58pc, up three points since last autumn, according to the results of the latest Eurobarometer opinion poll.

Ireland's 77pc is followed by Luxembourg at 73pc, Malta at 71pc and Denmark at 70pc. Only 13pc of Irish respondents have a negative image of the EU, the poll found.

Pessimism is the majority view in Greece (69pc), Cyprus (52pc) and the Czech Republic (51pc), while in the United Kingdom it's at 49pc.

The Irish, at 83pc, are in joint second place with Slovenia for support for the Euro.

Luxembourg occupies the top position at 85pc, with support lowest in the UK at 23pc and the Czech Republic at 20pc. The EU average is 60pc. Housing - mentioned by 50pc of Irish respondents - is seen as the most important national issue at the moment for people here.

Luxembourg is the only EU country where a higher share of respondents consider housing to be the most important national issue.

Across the EU, housing is only mentioned by 8pc of respondents as an issue of national concern. Health and social security is seen as the second most important national issue.

The poll found 51pc of Irish people tend to trust the EU compared with 37pc who do not. That's above the EU average of 42pc. But more people distrust the Government than trust it, at 41pc versus 52pc.

When asked about the financial situation of their household, 84pc of Irish respondents rated it as good compared with an EU average of 70pc. The share of Irish people who rated their job situation as good at 73pc was also well above the EU average of 59pc. About 88pc of Irish people support the free movement of EU citizens.

Irish Independent

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