The number of Europeans who distrust the European Union has doubled over the past six years to a record high, with bailed-out Greeks and Cypriots having the least faith in the bloc, according to a new EU poll, Reuters reported.
An economic crisis, record unemployment and five euro zone bailouts have taken their toll on the standing of the European Union that last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but is increasingly viewed as an overbearing, cumbersome bureaucracy.
Sixty percent of Europeans "tended not to trust the EU", according to Eurobarometer, a public opinion service of the European Commission, the EU executive, which released its spring findings this week.
That compares to the 32-percent level of distrust reported in early 2007 before the onset of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis and the ensuing euro zone debt crisis.
Cyprus, which was bailed out earlier this year in a controversial rescue that forced losses on wealthy depositors, showed the most distrust of the European Union at 83 percent.
In Greece, which is suffering from an economic depression and where painful job and spending cuts have been ordered by the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, the level of distrust was 80 percent.
Britons also showed steadily growing disillusionment, with 68 percent of citizens saying they had little confidence in the bloc of 500 million citizens that London joined four decades ago. Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed Britain hold a vote by 2017 on whether to leave