Eurozone crisis concerns vary across the board

by Ray Clancy on February 28, 2013

Expats in Germany have a positive outlook in the current state of the economy

Eurozone crisis concerns vary across the board

People living in Europe remain deeply concerned about the economic crisis but when it comes to reducing expenses, they would rather cut back on dining out, holidays and clothing than spending on education and insurance. The economic crisis is worrying people in Mediterranean countries the most, according to a new survey conducted by GfK on behalf of Zurich Insurance Group in seven European countries.

The report shows that about 70% of those interviewed in Portugal, 65% in Italy and 59% in Spain are highly concerned about the ongoing financial crisis. In Austria it is 44% and in Germany 38% while the Russians and the Swiss are the least concerned at 31% and 28% respectively.

Overall respondents believe that people themselves are more likely than politicians to find a way out of the crisis. While in Spain, one in six and in Russia, Portugal and Italy, one in seven are afraid of losing their job, in Germany and Switzerland under 5% and in Austria only 1% of those interviewed are afraid of being made redundant. The Swiss, Germans and Russians say they are most likely to reduce their costs for dining out if they have to cut their family budget. The Austrians, Portuguese and Spanish would cut their travel budget and the Italians would spend less on clothing and fashion items.

A quarter of Swiss, Germans and Russians and almost one third of Austrians would be prepared to pay less for their car or motorbike. Yet, they are very reluctant to cut back on insurance, education and rent, seeing these as essential rather than luxury expenses.

Respondents from all countries agree that despite the economic crisis the need for good insurance coverage has not changed. Over 91% of those interviewed in the Mediterranean countries and Switzerland would maintain their insurance even when forced to trim the family budget. Even in Russia, where the highest percentage of respondents said they would cut insurance costs, only 18% would do so.

The majority of Russians and Spanish would not skimp on their car insurance although Austrians are most likely to reduce car insurance if they had to save on insurance costs. For Italians, accident insurance is the most important cover while Portuguese value their household goods insurance. The Swiss and Germans wouldn’t want to relinquish their third party liability coverage. If they had to save on insurance costs, the Swiss, Portuguese and Germans are likely to look at life insurance, the Spanish at health insurance and the Russians and Italians at theft and fire insurance.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “Savings into gold and silver bullion. If you did that 4 years ago you would have double your initial investment in fiat money. Precious metals are the go-to safe haven in economic turmoil such as we are seeing right now.”

One third of Swiss and Austrians regard private pension provisions in the current environment as important and they invest in life insurance or in a private pension scheme. Some 36% of the Portuguese and about one quarter of Germans, Russians and Spanish consider pension provision as important, yet, say that they don’t have money left for it.

One in three Italians has not yet considered private pension savings while a fifth of Germans and Russians and one quarter of Spaniards are afraid that their private pension provisions will not suffice. The Swiss at 8% are least concerned about it.

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