Almost two thirds of EU citizens have experienced financial difficulties during COVID-19 crisis, says poll

The poll, commissioned by the European Parliament, found that some 58 percent of people have experienced financial difficulties in their own personal life since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.
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By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

29 May 2020

The poll found that some of the financial problems that citizens have come up against include a loss of income (30 percent), unemployment or partial unemployment (23 percent), using personal savings sooner than planned (21 percent), difficulties paying rent, bills or bank loans (14 percent) as well as difficulties having proper and decent-quality meals (9 percent).

One in ten people surveyed said that they have had to ask family or friends for financial help, while 3 percent of respondents faced bankruptcy.

Overall, respondents in Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain are most likely to have experienced financial problems, while those in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Austria are least likely to report problems.


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In the latter countries, more than half of respondents have not experienced any of these financial problems: 66 percent in Denmark, 57 percent in the Netherlands, 54 percent in Finland and 53 percent in Sweden.

“One in ten people surveyed said that they have had to ask family or friends for financial help, while 3 percent of respondents faced bankruptcy”

Almost six out of ten respondents are “dissatisfied” with the perceived lack of solidarity shown between Member States in tackling the crisis.

Respondents from Italy, Spain and Greece are among the most dissatisfied, followed by citizens from Austria, Belgium and Sweden.

Despite billions of euros being committed in financial aid by the European Commission, only 42 percent are satisfied with these measures so far.

Around two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) agree that “the EU should have more competences to deal with crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic. This sentiment is highest in Portugal and Ireland, and lowest in Czechia and Sweden.

“Respondents from Italy, Spain and Greece are among the most dissatisfied, followed by citizens from Austria, Belgium and Sweden”

The poll was conducted between 23 April and 1 May among 21,804 respondents in 21 Member States.

Parliament will produce a report of the survey, including national and sociodemographic data at the start of June.

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