Health, the economy, the rising cost of living and immigration are the four most important issues facing Cyprus according to EU’s latest barometer, released on Wednesday.
Of those asked about the most important issues facing Cyprus, 36 per cent said health, 35 per cent the country’s economy, 32 per cent the rising cost of living and inflation, and 28 per cent immigration. In the EU the average for health stands at 32 per cent, the economy 19 per cent, the rising cost of living and inflation 41 per cent and immigration at 8 per cent.
Also, on immigration on average only three per cent of Europeans thinks of immigration as an issue that affects them on a personal level against 11 per cent in Cyprus.
Closely aligned with the EU average, however, is life satisfaction as attested by the 86 per cent of those asked in Cyprus and 83 per cent in Europe. Simultaneously however, 60 per cent of Cypriots deem the country’s general situation as ‘bad’ against a 55 per cent EU average. Also, 66 per cent of Cypriots deem the national economy’s situation as ‘bad’ against a 59 per cent EU average.
As far as EU identity is concerned, 72 per cent of Cypriots feel they are an EU citizen but are divided as to their feelings of ‘connection’ with the EU, as only 52 per cent feel ‘connected’.
Regarding the pandemic, 98 per cent of Cypriots said that the pandemic had a serious and negative impact on the national economy while 79 per cent do not expect a recovery before 2023. Three out five Cypriots are satisfied with the measures taken by the government to curb the pandemic as opposed to the EU average of 50 per cent. A total of 73 per cent of Cypriots consider the measures justified.
Also, Cypriots’ attitude toward common EU policies is positive. Most Cypriots favour common policies addressing Immigration, Foreign Policy, Defence, Industrial and Energy policy. Specifically, regarding immigration, 88 per cent of those asked said they are in favour of a common EU policy, as did 85 per cent for a common European Asylum system and 93 per cent for enhancing EU external borders with more border and coast guards.
As far as trust toward the EU as an institution is concerned, Cypriots are split as 46 per cent have a tendency for trust while 48 per cent one of mistrust. Even worse is trust towards the national parliament as 69 per cent of those asked in Cyprus tend to not trust it. A similar picture appears regarding the current Cypriot government as 64 per cent of those asked said that they tend to not trust it.
The Eurobarometer was conducted on February 11 2022 and addressed a random sample of 504 people.