France and Italy are the countries least trusted by their people, as just 28% of French and Italian citizens have faith in their nation’s system, according to new research by public relations firm Edelman.
According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 72% of the French and Italian citizens who participated in the study said they had lost faith in the system, followed by Mexico, South Africa and Spain, all at 67%.
The annual study found that 2016 saw the largest-ever drop in trust across the institutions of government, business, media and NGOs. Trust in media (43%) fell to all-time lows in 17 countries, while trust levels in government (41%) dropped in 14 markets; government is the least trusted institution in half of the 28 countries that were surveyed.
The credibility of leaders also fell, as CEO credibility dropped to an all-time low of 37%, with declines in every country studied. More than half (53%) of the study’s respondents believe the current overall system has failed them, while only 15% believe it is working. Approximately one-third are uncertain.
“The implications of the global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. “It began with the Great Recession of 2008, but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalization and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions. The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism as the mass population has taken control away from the elites.”