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Synthesis 2012 > Spain

Spain 2012

Spaniards are probably at a crossroads, caught between real anxiety in the face of a constantly deteriorating situation and the feeling that people now have to take risks in order to survive.
In the longer term, Spain could join the group of countries that value risk taking.

The anxiety level is very high in Spain, particularly concerning unemployment

The feeling of exposure is slightly lower than the European average EXCEPT with regard to unemployment

  • 59% consider themselves likely to face unemployment (versus 51% overall) but only35% consider themselves likely to be confronted with financial riskof loss of assets (versus 38% overall) and only 38% think they are likely to be attacked or robbed (versus 40% overall)
  • But Spaniards are very worried about current developments, a change of attitude is therefore possible
  • 48% of Spanish respondents feel less well protected against risk than before (versus an overall average of 47%)
  • 64% believe they are more likely to lose their jobs than they were five years ago (compared with 56% overall), and 71% believe they are at greater risk of precarity and poverty (versus 63% overall).

A strong level of anxiety compared with the European average

  • On average they are worried about 13/17 risks compared with a European average of 11/17
  • 64% say they are worried by the possibility of losing their jobs (versus the European average of 57%)
  • 64% say they are worried by the possibility of their spouses or partners losing their jobs (compared with overall average of 55%).
  • 83% say they are worried about the risk of serious illness (compared with the overall average of 74%)
  • 78% are worried about the risk of permanent invalidity (versus the European average of 65%)

The Spanish attitude to risk is ambivalent, hovering between aversion and Greek ‘temptation’

The attitude to risk taking is very ambivalent

  • They are genuinely frightened of risk taking…
  • 65% of Spaniards consider risk a danger to be avoided (compared with the European average of 51%)
  • 78% think of ‘danger’ when risk is evoked (versus 70% overall)
  • 36% associate ‘fear’ with risk (versus 33% overall)
  • …but at the same time, they are tempted by risk and see risk taking as necessary in order to keep afloat
  • 70% believe people must take risks and be prepared to pay the price if they fail (versus 56% overall)
  • 55% say that to get ahead one must take a lot of risks (versus the overall average of 44%).

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