Migration, health top Cypriots’ worry list

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Six out of ten (61%) Cypriots believe the European Union’s biggest problem is migration, with health (32%) and the economy (19%) other major concerns, according to the latest Eurobarometer.

Some 14% of Cypriots are also worried over climate change, 14% said crime, 11% about unemployment, 10% said they feared a possible terrorist attack, and 9% appeared worried over hiking commodity prices.

Regarding the EU’s priorities in dealing with the pandemic, Cypriots emphasised the need for the Member States to be in a position to help out companies and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also consider developing a European health policy and establishing a strategy to deal with a similar crisis in the future as important priorities.

Enabling EU states to support businesses and workers is the action most mentioned in five EU countries, including Greece (50%), Cyprus (40%) and Bulgaria (34%).

According to the Eurobarometer, Cyprus has the second-highest percentage of citizens who believe their country will recover from the effects of the pandemic in 2023 or later.

The data, however, covers up to February 2022, before Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

Most EU member state respondents believe their country’s economy will recover “in 2023 or later”.

This view is shared by 83% in Spain and 79% in the Czech Republic and Cyprus, 55% in Romania and 57% in Slovakia.

Most respondents in 25 EU countries believe that NextGenerationEU will be effective (no change from spring 2021), with this view being more prevalent in Ireland (85%), Malta (79%), Cyprus and Italy (both 66%).

The Next Generation EU fund is a €750 bln EU economic recovery package to support countries adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Europeans consider the environment and climate change, the cost of living and migration to be the most important issues facing the EU, with a reference rate of 26%, 24% and 22%, respectively.

They were followed by the financial situation and health issues (21%).

In terms of the most important issue facing each country, the majority of EU citizens pointed to the rise in the cost of living, which was the number one concern in 16 of the 27 Member States.

Health is second, accounting for 32% of Europeans and is the most reported issue in six Member States (up from five in 2021): Slovenia (52%), Spain (42%), Greece (41 %), Italy (38%), Austria (37%) and Cyprus (32%).

The vast majority of EU citizens said they supported a common defence strategy, with the idea being the most popular in Cyprus, garnering 95% backing.