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Cabinet enjoys more trust than business leaders

The Swiss have more faith in the government than the bosses of big business, according to a new survey.

This content was published on January 8, 2003 - 19:07

Some 35 per cent said the government was trustworthy compared with just six per cent who took a favourable view of business leaders.

The news was not all bad for business, though. Forty per cent of those surveyed said they trusted the government and bosses equally.

That finding suggests that a substantial proportion of the population don't see a crisis of trust in the economy, despite the reams of newsprint about accounting fraud and the need for better corporate governance.

The survey, conducted between August 19 and Sep 6 last year, canvassed the views of 751 people in German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

Sceptical

It found that top bosses enjoy most trust among people with secondary education. The less educated along with university graduates are highly sceptical of big business, and tend to have the most trust in the government.

The rural/urban divide emerged as a factor, with country dwellers having more faith in bosses than their city cousins (who are more likely to be employed by those bosses). Older people tended to trust the government far more than they did bosses.

The survey found no evidence that waning faith in the integrity of business had made people more likely to trust the government.

However, it concluded that in cases where government and business differ on a particular issue, the public are more likely to support the government view.

The survey was conducted by the GfS research institute and Univox (see links).

swissinfo

Key facts

40% of those surveyed said they trusted the government and bosses equally.
Top bosses enjoy most trust among people with secondary education.
The less educated along with university graduates are highly sceptical of big business.
Country dwellers have more faith in bosses than their city cousins.

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