Spanish losing faith in economic system as crisis worsens

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The worsening labour market and government debt crisis in Spain is leading Spaniards to re-evaluate their attitudes towards their current economic system, according to GlobeScan’s latest global public attitudes tracking across 22 countries for BBC World Service.
Globally, views of the fairness of the economic system and of free market capitalism have remained broadly stable since 2009, when GlobeScan last looked at this question. There has been some polarisation in attitudes about the free market, with an increase in the proportion of people who feel that the system works fine and does not need reform, but also an increase in those who view it as “fatally flawed”’ and feel a new economic system is required.
However, the change in Spanish attitudes over the past few years is strikingly at variance with this picture. The number of Spaniards who regard free market capitalism as “fatally flawed” has jumped from 29% in 2009 to 42% this year, while the view that economic benefits and burdens have not been fairly shared in Spain is now almost universally held (up from 66% in 2009 to 92% this year). In both cases, these proportions are the highest of any nation polled.
These figures suggest that the new right-of-centre Spanish government may face significant public opposition to austerity measures whose impact is likely to fall heaviest on the less well-off.
Finding from a 25 April 2012 GlobeScan/BBC Poll
This post was written by former GlobeScan Research Director, Sam Mountford.