The Mediterranean is a miserable place, with a recent poll confirming that fact for the rest of the world. A survey by the Pew Research Center shed light on exactly how miserable the ancient region is, with Greece the flag bearer for the economic and social misery these countries are experiencing. Among 39 countries polled, the Mediterranean countries ranked near the top in all of the questions asked.
In Greece, 99 percent of those polled said that their country’s economic situation was either ‘somewhat bad’ or ‘very bad’, with another 97 percent being dissatisfied with how things were progressing. A huge majority — 85 percent — reported that their personal finances were in terrible shape, and more than half still expected things to get worse in the next year. However, France edged Greece in one category — with 90 percent predicting their children would be worse off than they were.
The results are hardly surprising considering the economic pictures in these countries, and in the case of France, the issue of pensions continues to weigh heavily on the public.
Pension reform is a touchy subject in France, where former President Nicolas Sarkozy faced mass street protests when he raised the retirement age to 62 from 60. Current President Francois Hollande will appear forced to act on the matter as the EU has urged his country to fix the system in exchange for an additional two years to shore up its budget. French pensions will generate a 20-billion euro deficit by 2020 if the problem isn’t corrected. Youth unemployment is also high in France, with 23 percent of young people out of work.