One of the latest chapters in the economic troubles facing the European Union countries has been the crisis in Spain’s banking and financial sectors. A Pew Global Attitudes Project survey conducted March 20 –April 2, before the latest developments there, found that 78% of Spaniards blamed their banks and financial institutions for the country’s current economic problems while 59% said the government was most at fault.

Only 6% in Spain consider economic conditions in the country to be very or somewhat good, down from the 65% who felt positively about the economy in 2007 – before the global financial crisis took hold. Nearly half (47%) expect the economic situation to worsen in the next 12 months, while 27% say it will remain the same; 25% believe it will improve.

On June 9, Spain agreed to accept a bailout for its struggling banks. The Global Attitudes survey also found that most in Spain (90%) said other European Union governments should provide financial assistance to EU countries experiencing major financial problems. That view is shared by publics in Greece (91%) and Italy (79%), both nations facing economic troubles. But such aid is less popular in countries that have been aid donors, such as Germany (49%), France (44%) and Britain (34%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.