woensdag, maart 05, 2003

Don't Worry, Be Happy

The latest EU figures from the European Commission's biannual Eurobarometer survey, released on Tuesday, show that 47% of Swedes and 43% of Brits believe their lives will improve in 2003.

Portugal and Greece are the most miserable countries, with 39% and 26% of their respective populations believing that their life will only get worse in the coming year.

Desultory Turgescence reports that ironically, those countries with the most miserable and gloomy outlooks of their future also happen to be the favorite vacation spots of the Brits and the Swedes.

And, as Charles Dickens wrote in David Copperfield regarding the best barometer of happiness and misery: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery."

In a nod toward the recuperative powers of Gouda kaas and tulips, according to the Eurobarometer, 56% of the Dutch people think that the quality of life will remain near the same, 29% think that it will get better and 9% believe that it will worsen.

On a brighter note, while 69% of the Dutch are afraid of international terrorism, 75% of the Dutch do not fear a conventional or nuclear war in Europe.

48% of the Dutch has the opinion that it is a good thing that the Euro replaced the national currency, 34% finds this a bad thing. Luxembourg, Belgium and Ireland are still the euro's biggest fans, with 89%, 81% and 80% of the respective populations in support.

No word yet on the percentage of Europeans who fear that a tyrannical, flesh-eating Bush War Machine will spell their ultimate demise and doom the planet to a veritable Dante's Inferno for eternity.

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