Euro Crisis Takes Major Toll On Life Satisfaction: OECD

The True Cost Of A Financial Crisis
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SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 30: Women squatting in appartments which is part of a complex occupied by the Corrala Utopia community sit outside chatting on May 30, 2013 in Seville, Spain. In 2010 Spanish banks foreclosed more than 100,000 households which contributed to the already large number of empty houses. With as many as one million properties unsold, victims of Spain's financial crisis, struggling to keep a roof over their head due to high levels of unemployment and severe cuts to social welfare, have turned to squatting in the empty buildings. The Corrala Utopia is a community, on a steadily growing list of communities all over Spain, living in squatted buildings. In this case the building stood empty for three years before the squatters moved in almost a year ago. The community houses a total of 36 families including almost 40 children. The families are cut off from water and electricity and live with an uncertain future and the fear of being evicted soon again. For the first time in history over 6 million Spaniards are jobless in Spain, the euro zone's fourth-biggest economy. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 30: Women squatting in appartments which is part of a complex occupied by the Corrala Utopia community sit outside chatting on May 30, 2013 in Seville, Spain. In 2010 Spanish banks foreclosed more than 100,000 households which contributed to the already large number of empty houses. With as many as one million properties unsold, victims of Spain's financial crisis, struggling to keep a roof over their head due to high levels of unemployment and severe cuts to social welfare, have turned to squatting in the empty buildings. The Corrala Utopia is a community, on a steadily growing list of communities all over Spain, living in squatted buildings. In this case the building stood empty for three years before the squatters moved in almost a year ago. The community houses a total of 36 families including almost 40 children. The families are cut off from water and electricity and live with an uncertain future and the fear of being evicted soon again. For the first time in history over 6 million Spaniards are jobless in Spain, the euro zone's fourth-biggest economy. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

* Study sees falling life satisfaction in crisis-hit countries

* Trust in government also in decline in wake of crisis

PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Ordinary people's satisfaction with life has plunged in the euro zone countries worst hit by the financial crisis as faith in their governments' ability to ease the strain has shrunk, an OECD study found on Tuesday.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the impact of the five-year-old crisis went deeper than lost jobs and income as reflected in traditional economic data.

The OECD used answers from a Gallup World Poll of some 1,000 respondees in each of over 30 developed and emerging economies, asking them to rate life satisfaction from 1 to 10.

It found life satisfaction scores dropped by more than 20 percent in Greece over the five years to 2012, while Spain saw a fall of 12 percent and Italy a drop of 10 percent.

"People feel like the government is unable to help them get out of the crisis," OECD chief statistician Martine Durand told Reuters.

The crisis has not only eroded confidence in public institutions in countries worst-hit by the financial crisis but across the developed-economy countries of the OECD organisation as a whole, the study found.

Only 40 percent of people questioned for the report had trust in their government, the lowest level since 2006.

The report, which covered the 34 OECD countries as well as Brazil and Russia, is part of an OECD drive to go beyond traditional economic measures such as gross domestic product by looking at indicators on things such as education, work-life balance and civic engagement.

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States scored highest in terms of a general sense of well-being including life satisfaction. Chile, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Portugal and Turkey had the lowest scores.

The full report and country notes are available at: www.oecd.org/howslife. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Mark John)

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