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News 29 Dec 17

Romanians Gloomy About Future, Survey Shows

Despite outside perceptions of Romania as a booming country, a new survey has revealed a deep pessimism among people about about their future, their government and politics.

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
Romanian government building. Photo: andrei_ro/Flikr

Romanians are largely pessimistic about the future, distrust their government and politicians, and are worried about the political crisis, a study released on Friday by a leadin think tank revealed.

According to the survey conducted by the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy, almost three-quarters of Romanians believe their country has generally taken the wrong path, which is a historical low in terms of pessimism.

Over 45 per cent of the respondents said that 2017 was worse than 2016 and believe that 2018 will be even worse.

Moreover, the study shows, most of the population, 59 per cent, are unhappy with their living standards and most of those are people who graduated from high-school.

Romanians trust the European Union most – 51 per cent - followed by their town mayor – 49 per cent - and the media third – 43 percent. They trust parliament least – 15 per cent - and political parties – 10 per cent.

According to the survey, Romanian were generally optimistic at the end of 2016, with 54 per cent saying that they hoped 2017 would be a better year than 2016.

Meanwhile, President Klaus Iohannis’ popularity grew by 10 per cent in 2017.

The main cause for Romanian pessimism and distrust of the government and politicians is the perception that politicians do not listen to the voters, the study shows.

They see state institutions as corrupt and the result of public policies as social injustice. They feel that they are victims of an unjust political system, and feel threatened by poverty and social exclusion.

Although deemed Europe’s fastest growing economy, Romania in 2017 saw political turmoil triggered by the illiberal moves of the Social Democrat-led government in terms of rule of law.

Controversial justice reforms deemed threatening to magistrates’ independence led in January and February to the country’s largest protests since the fall of communism, and to renewed anti-corruption demonstrations during the year. 

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