Will horsemeat scandal challenge Europeans’ relaxed attitude to food safety and quality?

The past few weeks have seen the food industry in Europe engulfed by a crisis with potentially far-reaching ramifications. A range of processed meals sold by a large number of prominent consumer brands have been found to contain horsemeat instead of beef. The unfolding scandal has exposed the complex multi-country supply chains involved in meat processing and the lack of transparency for the end consumer, and is raising concerns about what the pressure to keep down consumer prices means for … “Will horsemeat scandal challenge Europeans’ relaxed attitude to food safety and quality?”

Inequality seems to underlie political success of the left in Latin America

For some commentators, two events this week have highlighted the ascendency of the political left in Latin America. The first was the return of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to his country after months spent battling illness in Cuba. The second was the re-election of Rafael Correa in Ecuador. These events have unnerved some investors, who are wary of further regulation, taxation, and even expropriation of assets. Yet GlobeScan’s data suggest that, in the wider region, business is generally more popular … “Inequality seems to underlie political success of the left in Latin America”

Progress on economy and broken political process likely to be key to Obama’s second-term agenda

During Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama touched on a wide range of topics including the economy, unemployment, climate, inequality, and immigration. But how far do these concerns mirror those of ordinary Americans? GlobeScan’s most recent opinion polling suggests President Obama was wise to make economics and unemployment the centrepieces of his speech. The 17 percent of Americans who cite unemployment and underemployment as the biggest threats to their nation will have felt reassured to hear … “Progress on economy and broken political process likely to be key to Obama’s second-term agenda”

Religious influence persists in emerging economies

As its economy grows and lifestyles change, China is having to adapt its tightly controlled society to external influences. This week Can Nao, a Chinese charity worker revealed, he had been arrested over the Christmas period after meeting to worship in a public park. Shortly after, Shanghai’s former Communist chief stated that while the government would continue to respect religious freedom, it would also seek to adapt belief to the existing system. GlobeScan’s polling reveals that attitudes towards faith and … “Religious influence persists in emerging economies”

Despite privacy controversies, IT industry’s reputation is on solid ground

At the end of last week, Twitter announced that 250,000 of its users had had their passwords stolen in a cyber attack on the company. Though just a fraction of the social media site’s 200 million users, the episode illustrates how the social media boom has increased the potential for personal details to fall into the wrong hands. Such controversies may explain why respect for the IT industry is falling. Though still the most highly regarded industry among those GlobeScan … “Despite privacy controversies, IT industry’s reputation is on solid ground”

Unemployment tops global public’s list of concerns, as ILO predicts record high jobless total

On Monday the International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicted that over the next 12 months the global unemployment rate could reach a record high of 120 million. Noting that young people were disproportionately hit, the ILO also commented that, while 1 million jobs had been shed in advanced economies over the past year, 3 million were lost in developing economies, despite their greater economic resilience. The ILO’s pessimistic forecast is reflected in GlobeScan’s most recent polling on this issue. Across 22 … “Unemployment tops global public’s list of concerns, as ILO predicts record high jobless total”

Job creation seen to be at the heart of companies’ social role, particularly in times of crisis

The recent announcement by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that the Eurozone crisis was at an end prompted relief in some quarters, but also disbelief. With record joblessness, particularly among the young, and near-depression conditions across much of southern Europe, many feel that Europe’s problems are far from over. GlobeScan’s 2012 polling data illustrates that concern about joblessness remains acute across the continent—and also translates into expectations for companies. In Spain—where half of young people are unemployed—more than nine … “Job creation seen to be at the heart of companies’ social role, particularly in times of crisis”

Developed nations looking to banks to do more to help mend the global financial system

Two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the chiefs of the world’s most powerful regulatory bodies met in Basel, Switzerland to agree new standards for banking institutions. These included requirements for banks to hold much greater capital reserves to protect against future ‘credit crunches‘ – and while banks were this week given four extra years to raise these reserves, critics say the effect of these measures will be to reduce their ability to lend. However, GlobeScan’s most … “Developed nations looking to banks to do more to help mend the global financial system”

Global public supports free market, less favourable to global business—can CSR heal wounds?

As 2013 begins, the leadership of various international bodies is changing, with Ireland assuming the presidency of the EU, a clutch of nations joining the UN Security Council, and the UK taking charge of the G8. Despite the shifts in power apparent in the global system, the G8 remains a formidable grouping, and British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to put free trade at the heart of the British G8 Presidency. In some respects Mr Cameron has chosen his … “Global public supports free market, less favourable to global business—can CSR heal wounds?”

Economic problems and unemployment dominate global concerns

With European ministers meeting this week to hammer out a deal on reduction of Greece’s debt, and persistent rumours of bailouts for some others in the Mediterranean region, Europe’s economic crisis continues to feature prominently in the news agenda. As GlobeScan’s most recent opinion polling shows, this clearly reflects the worries of its citizens. Spanish citizens best encapsulate the crisis narrative, with unemployment, the economy and political problems cited most often as the most pressing problems facing the country. Here, … “Economic problems and unemployment dominate global concerns”