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Europe is waking to news that Donald Trump has taken a huge, bounding leaptowards securing the Republican nomination for US president. It is not yet wrapped up; the Republican race will probably run through to the spring. But Mr Trump could barely have emerged in better shape from Super Tuesday and the Europe’s press are all a bit stunned. Before they could even deploy some withering headlines, Mr Trump beat them to the punch, blasting the bloc on terrorism and migration: “You look at Brussels, look at Sweden, you look at Germany – it’s like a disaster.” With an eye on the presidential race, he at least had the diplomatic courtesy to hold back on attacking Germany’s Angela Merkel, a leader he recently said would “be out if they don’t have a revolution”.
Trust in institutions is not equally distributed among populations. In general, people from higher social strata show most support for the political system, as they’re the ones who mostly benefit from it.
Trust in institutions is necessary for the well functioning of modern democracies and the maintenance of institutional arrangements. The euro crisis has been identified by several scholars as a major factor contributing to falling trust in various European institutions. In a recent article we have investigated whether, as a result of the crisis, trust has declined equally across European countries, and whether the decline varies among individuals with different socioeconomic backgrounds.