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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cypriots happy despite worries ]

Cypriots happy despite worries

ALMOST two in three Greek Cypriots say their main financial priority is being able to pay the bills, while one in two say theirs’ is to live as well as they can on their current income and pay off their debts, the latest Eurobarometer revealed yesterday.

Despite this, and their worries that things may get worse, especially when it comes to unemployment, the vast majority think the economy is doing well, according to the poll carried out in the Spring.

As far as immigration was concerned, the Eurobarometer indicated that despite the acknowledgement by 57 per cent of Cypriots that immigrants are needed to work in certain sectors, 82 per cent say the presence of people from other ethnic groups was a cause of insecurity while 90 per cent believe their presence in Cyprus increases unemployment.

According to Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, Androulla Kaminara, who presented the findings, Cyprus is third in the EU for exhibiting a lack of trust in accepting immigrants, with Malta first and Greece second.

The poll showed that the majority of Greek Cypriots were satisfied with their lives, with 35 per cent saying they were ‘very satisfied’ and 50 per cent fairly satisfied.

Meanwhile, satisfaction levels for Turkish Cypriots were lower than the EU average, with only 53 per cent saying they were happy with their lives, while the EU average is 77 per cent.

Some 12 per cent of Cypriots said that unemployment and concern about their healthcare system were their most important issues, while 11 per cent believes that crime is the most serious problem they face.

Turkish Cypriots view the economic situation and unemployment as their biggest problems, with the Cyprus problem coming third. Similar results have been recorded across the EU, with 38 per cent of EU citizens considering rising prices/ inflation to be their biggest personal problem, followed by 26 per cent who think it is the economic situation, and 21 per cent unemployment.

Both Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot respondents appear pessimistic regarding the prospects for the economy in Cyprus and internationally. Over half of Greek Cypriots said they believe their lives will remain the same over the next year, 28 per cent that it will improve and 14 per cent that it will get worse.

Greek Cypriots also view that employment opportunities will significantly decrease, as 52 per cent said that they expect the employment situation in Cyprus to get worse, 35 per cent that it will remain the same, and eight per cent that it will get better. In addition, 41 per cent expect that the financial situation in Cyprus will get worse, 12 per cent that it will improve and 43 per cent that it will stay the same.

Similarly, 39 per cent of Turkish Cypriots said that they expect the employment situation in the north to get worse, 27 per cent said it will stay the same, and 21 per cent that it will improve. In addition, 41 per cent said that they think the economic situation in the north will get worse and 27 per cent that it will improve.

Meanwhile, Cypriots seem to believe that the EU can play a major role in addressing the effects of the international financial and economic crisis. Some 33 per cent of Cypriots living in the south said that the EU is the most able institution when it comes to taking effective action against the effects of the crisis.

This is the second highest percentage recorded in the EU, with Greece holding the top spot with 38 per cent and the lowest percentage in the UK with nine per cent. Similarly, Turkish Cypriots said that the US (21 per cent) and the EU (20 per cent) can effectively address the effects of the crisis.

Cypriots also continue to view the EU favourably, with 47 per cent of Greek Cypriots viewing the participation of the EU as ‘something good’, marking a 7 per cent increase from 2008. In addition, 52 per cent of Cypriots living in the south said that they have a positive view of the EU.

The Eurobaromter also indicated a marked drop in the level of trust Cypriots have in their government. The trust citizens have in the Cyprus government dropped from 65 per cent in 2008 to 56 per cent recorded in this latest survey. Nevertheless, the level of trust Cypriots have in their government remains higher than the EU average.

Lack of trust in the UN reached 57 per cent among Greek Cypriots.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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