An overwhelming majority of Europeans’ main concern is the rising cost of living, the most recent Eurobarometer, published on Thursday (12 January) shows, transmits euobserver.com.
Rising costs are the most pressing issue for 93 percent of Europeans, while 82 percent of Europeans are worried about poverty and social exclusion. The potential spread of the war in Ukraine to other counties and climate change concerns 81 percent of Europeans.
Rising inflation, an energy shock caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the increasingly tangible effects of climate change, and shifting geopolitical balances are only the latest series of crises hitting EU after Covid-19 and its health and economic consequences, a rise in populism, Brexit and increasing (and incited) fears around migration and identity.
Almost half of EU citizens said that their personal living standards have already been negatively impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and cost-of-living crisis.
Some 39 percent of respondents, among the more than 26,000 asked last October and November, expect to be affected over the next year, while 45 percent of European households said they are already encountering difficulties living on their present income.
Around one-in-ten Europeans (nine percent) say that they have had difficulties paying their bills most of the time during the last twelve months.
Some 30 percent say they have difficulties from time-to-time, while six-in-ten say they never or almost never have these difficulties.
Respondents in Greece (35 percent) are the most likely to say that they have difficulties paying bills most of the time, followed by Bulgaria, Cyprus (both 18 percent) and Portugal (17 percent).
On the other end of the spectrum, at least eight-in-ten respondents say they never or almost never have difficulties in Denmark, Sweden (both 91 percent), the Netherlands (83 percent), Luxembourg (82 percent) and Finland (80 percent).
At an EU-level, 56 percent of citizens are “not satisfied” with the measures taken so far to tackle the rising cost of living, while 64 percent feel the same about the actions of their national governments.