The Irish took austerity lying down – German poll

The bulk of Germans feel Irish people should have protested more when the Eurozone crisis unfolded, a survey suggests.

The study by Red C – commissioned by a Galway businessman – concluded that about 60pc of Germans surveyed agreed that we weren’t vocal enough in 2008, the year the crash came and the Government bailed out the banks.

It was a similar view held by those from the US and UK, at 41pc and 53pc respectively.

The majority also agreed that Irish people were too accepting of the crisis and its implications.

The survey of opinions across three countries was commissioned by James Murphy, who founded natural health and beauty products company Lifes2Good in 1997. He did so to determine how well regarded or otherwise Ireland is abroad.

The survey also found the bulk of those from the three countries found the Irish to be “self starters and enterprising”, with 90pc of American and British believing we are hard working.

Nine out of ten people asked in the UK and Germany believe politicians and bankers should be held more accountable for the financial crisis here.

The survey was carried out among 1,000 people in Germany and the UK each, with a representative sample taken online from the US.

Other findings included the majority of people in each country believe that the media helped exacerbate the crisis.

Mr Murphy said the country is blighted by negative news, even though there is a largely positive perception abroad.

“I am consistently struck by the positivity I encounter about Ireland when abroad and the stark contrast of seemingly endless negative news whether economic, political or institutional,” Mr Murphy said.

“We should be applauding ourselves for what has been achieved in the face of such adversity and hardship.

“We commissioned this report because life’s too good to support the view that the negativity and self-deprecating behaviour prevalent amongst Irish people is completely at odds with how Ireland is perceived abroad.”

Mr Murphy said he believed that this negativity was holding the country back.

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