Germans have become markedly more optimistic about their country's economic prospects, while the Portuguese are the gloomiest, a European Union poll published Wednesday indicated, reported dpa
Fifty-five per cent of Germans told the Eurobarometer survey that "the impact of the crisis on jobs has already reached its peak," while 33 per cent chose a rival statement suggesting that "the worst is still to come."
This meant that "optimism has risen spectacularly in Germany," researchers wrote, noting that, in a previous survey published in mid-2010, only 31 per cent of respondents had answered positively.
Estonians, Swedes and Austrians were even of more sunny dispositions, with 58 per cent of people there expecting things to get better, followed by the Dutch (57 per cent) and the Danes (56 per cent).
In contrast, only 20 per cent of respondents from Portugal were optimistic, against 73 per cent who expected the economic outlook to worsen.
Germany has been recording record growth in 2010. Portugal, on the other hand, has been battling with a high deficit, and speculation has been mounting that it might need to seek an EU-led bailout.
Ireland and Greece - the two eurozone countries which were forced to ask for international help in 2010 - were next in the Eurobarometer's list of "pessimistic" countries, with only 21 and 22 per cent of respondents expecting the economy to improve.
On average, 42 per cent of people in the EU's 27 countries thought the worse was behind, while 48 per cent still saw more clouds on the horizon.