Brussels, May 16 (IANS) A majority of Europeans believe that the EU is likely to collapse within 20 years, despite record support for the bloc, according to a new poll.
The YouGov poll published on Wednesday showed that in France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic and Poland, a majority of the people surveyed thought European Union disintegration was a “realistic possibility”, the Guardian reported.
The figures are particularly stark in France, where President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche party is trailing behind Marine Le Pen’s EU-bashing Rassemblement National (RN) in the polls for next week’s European elections.
According to the survey, 58 per cent of the people in France believe that the EU is very likely or fairly likely to fall apart within 20 years, second only to Slovakia (66 per cent).
Of the 14 countries polled by YouGov, it was only in Sweden (44 per cent), Denmark (41 per cent) and Spain (40 per cent) that the proportion predicting implosion dipped below a majority.
Meanwhile, as many as a third of the voters in France and Poland said they believed a war could be possible.
Europeans are also concerned about faltering prosperity. The survey found that just a third of Germans and a quarter of Italians and French had money left over at the month’s end for discretionary spending.
The findings reflect widespread concerns over the May 23 elections, in large part sparked by the warnings of European leaders and the emergence of populist governments in several member states.
Macron has pitted himself as the leader of anti-populist forces in opposition to the likes of Matteo Salvini, Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister, while the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned voters against using the elections as a protest vote.