Austrians Show Trust in the Euro, Skepticism Towards its Digital Counterpart

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: January 10, 2024; 23:46 ♦ (Vindobona)

According to a recent survey by the Austrian Society for European Politics (ÖGfE), 54% of Austrians trust the euro as a currency, while the digital euro is still awaiting broad acceptance. Paul Schmidt, Secretary General of the ÖGfE, analyzed these results in the context of the 25-year history of the euro and current European monetary policy.

The Austrian Society for European Politics survey indicates that 54% of respondents have high confidence in the euro, while 35% have no opinion on the digital euro. / Picture: © Flickr / Dimitar Nikolov / [CC BY-SA 2.0(]

The online survey conducted by the market, in which 1,000 people took part, shows that 54 percent of respondents have "very high" or "high" confidence in the euro. However, there is also a significant minority of 42 percent with "low" to "very low" confidence. It is interesting to note the development of confidence in the euro since 2010, which has risen steadily again after a low point between 2011 and 2012 but recorded a slight decline in the last survey.

Schmidt highlights the role of the euro in times of high inflation and emphasizes its importance as an anchor of stability and a symbol of European unification. With Croatia as the newest member of the eurozone and Bulgaria knocking on the door, the appeal of the euro as the second most important reserve currency after the dollar remains strong.

However, the introduction of a digital euro is viewed with more reservations. Only 12% of respondents are currently in favor, while 50% are opposed and 35% are still unsure. "The digital euro is still the big unknown," says Schmidt. He explains that it will function as a supplementary electronic means of payment alongside cash and can be used throughout the EU.

Schmidt points out that widespread acceptance of the digital euro requires extensive education and communication, especially in a country like Austria where cash is highly valued. The digital euro, issued and guaranteed by the European Central Bank, could make the EU more resilient in the digital payment landscape, which is currently dominated by private providers outside the EU.