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Cypriots most worried about living costs, migrants

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The rising cost of living, the threat of poverty and social exclusion, and migration are Cypriots’ greatest concerns, according to the European Parliament’s Eurobarometer Survey released Thursday.

According to the findings, the rising cost of living is the most pressing concern for 93% of Europeans, while poverty and social exclusion follow (82%).

The potential spread of the war in Ukraine to other countries and the climate change emergency remain worrying for 81% of EU citizens.

As regards Cyprus, 99% of respondents said their most pressing worry was the rising cost of living, followed by the threat of poverty and social exclusion (94%).

For Cypriots, the migration issue is also a worry, with 93% saying they were concerned about it, compared with 70% of the EU average.

The third most common concern among the EU is climate change and the spread of the war in Ukraine to other countries, with 81%.

In Cyprus, this concern was expressed by 89% and 81% of respondents, respectively.

The European Parliament said: “Citizens expect the EU to continue working on solutions to mitigate the compounding effects of the consecutive crises that have hit the continent”.

“High support for the EU is based on the experience of past years, with the EU demonstrating a remarkable capacity to unite and to deploy effective measures.

“For now, citizens are not satisfied by the actions taken at the national or EU level.

“Only a third of Europeans express satisfaction with measures taken by their national governments or the EU to tackle the rising cost of living”.

Russia’s war against Ukraine strengthens support for the European Union as 62% see EU membership as a “good thing”, representing one of the highest results since 2007.

The percentage in Cyprus reached a lower 52%.

“Citizens expect the EU to continue working on solutions to mitigate the compounding effects of the consecutive crises that have hit the continent.

“For now, citizens are not satisfied by the actions taken either at the national or EU level; only a third of Europeans express satisfaction with measures taken by their national governments or the EU to tackle the rising cost of living,” said the survey.

Fallout

Looking at the financial situation of citizens, the survey shows that the fallout from the polycrisis is being felt increasingly.

Almost half of the EU population (46%) say their standard of living has been reduced due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis. In Cyprus, this percentage was 70%.

A further 39% (18% for Cyprus) have yet to see their standard of living decline but expect this to happen in the next year.

An increase of nine points, from 30% to 39%, at the EU level since autumn 2021, has been recorded in citizens experiencing difficulties paying bills “most of the time” or “sometimes”.

In Cyprus, there was an increase of eight points, with this percentage reaching 59%.

“People are understandably worried about the rising cost of living, as more and more families are struggling to make ends meet.

“Now is the time for us to deliver, to bring our bills under control, push back inflation and to make our economies grow.

“We must protect the most vulnerable in our societies”, said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Some 53% of Cypriots chose as their priority public health, second the support of the economy and the creation of new jobs (44%) and third, the issue of fighting poverty and social exclusion (41%).

European citizens want the EU Parliament to focus on fighting poverty and social exclusion (37%).

Public health remains important to many European citizens (34%), as does continued action against climate change (31%).

Supporting the economy and creating new jobs (31%) is also high on the list.