As G20 Summit Starts, International Poll Shows Low Confidence Levels Among Populations

Departing Merkel has highest confidence rating, with other major leaders lagging behind badly.

Ahead of Friday’s G20 Summit, a poll finds that their citizens are not optimistic about their future, and even less confident in their world leaders.

According to a survey of G20 countries and others from Pew Charitable Trusts, advanced countries such as Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands are pleased with their current economies, but are not expecting younger generations to feel the same. For example, while the Netherlands is 85% satisfied with its current conditions, only 35% of respondents think it will be better for their children financially.

Americans are mostly content (65%), but only 33% are expecting it to be easier for their kids. The G20 gathering brings together top officials from the world’s largest economies.

In the poll, there also plenty of people dissatisfied with their nations’ economies as well, such as G20 host Argentina, which only has a 17% approval rating. Mauricio Macri, the nation’s president, had to get help from the International Monetary Fund and impose austerity measures in September due to an unexpected recession.

Another nation with a dissatisfied public is Brazil, which just elected a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, to improve its ailing economy and fight corruption. Just 9% of Brazilians are satisfied with the country’s condition, and only 42% are hopeful for a brighter future.

Long-suffering Greece is the most grim, as just 4% are content with the economy, and a mere 18% think their younger generation will have it better.

On average, the 27 countries that participated are 36% satisfied with their economies globally, and just 37.8% are hopeful things will get better.

Major world leaders scored badly as a rule in the international survey. Only Germany’s Angela Merkel, who recently announced she was stepping down as chancellor when her term expires in 2021, was the only of five world leaders evaluated to have a positive reading, at 52%. The other four, Donald Trump, France’s Emanuel Macron, China’s Xi Jinping, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, could not rally a majority support from the multi-country populations polled.

Trump, who is scheduled to meet with Xi and Putin (although it is being reported that he may cancel his appointment with Russia’s head), scored the lowest rating, with just 27% of respondents in the 25 countries polled for this area expecting him to “do the right thing regarding world affairs.”

Putin, Xi, and Macron did not fare much better, garnering confidence levels of 30%, 34%, and 46%, respectively.

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