Synthesis 2012 > In Greece and Italy: the feeling of exposure to risk is particularly strong

In Greece and Italy: the feeling of exposure to risk is particularly strong while the protection mechanisms are considered less effective than before the crisis

However, the levels of anxiety generated by this situation in each country are very different.
The common element in both these countries is the strong feeling of vulnerability to risk expressed by their respective populations.

For all the risks surveyed, Greeks and Italians are in each case the people that believe it most likely that they will encounter such problems. The majority of Greeks and Italians think it probable that they will face the following problems: unemployment (respectively 70% and 69%), road accident (59% and 66%), attack or theft (54% and 55%) and financial difficulties (52%). In an Ipsos survey carried out at the beginning of 2012, nearly a quarter of all Italians surveyed said that they had been directly affected, either themselves or their families, by the impact of the crisis during the previous 12 months.

Greeks and Italians are also the EU citizens that most frequently consider that their protection mechanisms with regard to economic and social risks are less efficient than they were five years ago (73% of Italians and 69% of Greeks). This situation contrasts with France where only a minority consider themselves to be less well protected than before (37%).
Similarly, the feeling of being protected against the 17 risks tested is very low in these two countries, particularly those relating to material goods, such as destruction of the home (45% of Greeks and 51% of Italians consider they are not protected compared with 32% overall) and theft (52% of Greeks and 56% of Italians consider they have no protection versus only 33% overall).

The feeling of protection against social risks is also very low, more specifically with regard to unemployment (65% of Greeks and 71% of Italians feel they have no protection against losing their jobs compared with an overall average of 57%). The feeling of protection is also very low with regard to accidents, invalidity or inability to work.

Logically, the capacity of Greeks and Italians to cope with the financial consequences of the various risks tested is also relatively limited.

However, Greece and Italy differ with regard to one fundamental element, the level of anxiety generated by the various risks:

  • In Greece: concerns focus essentially on the risk of unemployment (70% versus 57% overall). For many Greeks, loss of employment is a direct threat, a proven risk. Since the two are potentially directly linked, the fear of losing their job is accompanied by the fear of serious illness (this is the only other risk that worries a majority of Greeks). The other problems are considered secondary problems by most people. On average, Greeks are worried by 9 risks out of 17. This is one of the lowest levels in the survey.
  • In Italy: unlike in Greece, virtually all the 17 risks tested were a source of anxiety for a majority of Italians. They were naturally very anxious about the risk of losing their jobs (79%) but this was not the only fear. All the other risks have also become sources of anxiety. On average, they were worried about 15 of the 17 risks. A great majority of the Italians surveyed perceived any potential risk as a strong source of anxiety.

In Greece and Italy: the feeling of exposure to risk is particularly strong

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