Lithuanians - optimists among Balts

  • 2004-07-15
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Lithuanians tend to be more optimistic in the assessment of their personal prospects and that of the domestic economy compared with residents of other new EU member states, a Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Commission and conducted by the Baltijos Tyrimai researcher has shown.

About one-third of Lithuanian residents, or 29 percent, believe that membership in the EU will have a positive effect on their life over the next 12 months, compared with the average of 22 percent among all 10 EU newcomers.
Optimists outweighed pessimists in Lithuania, as only 16 percent predicted a decline in the quality of life after EU accession. Almost a half of respondents, or 48 percent, said that the situation would not change.
Overall, the number of pessimists in all EU newcomers was 31 percent, while another 42 percent of those polled said they did not expect any improvements in the quality of life.
"Over the last four years, the optimism of Lithuanian residents in respect to the future has increased. While four years ago most residents considered the economic situation and their financial status would worsen, at present only one-fourth of residents holding such opinion has remained," Rasa Alisauskiene, a Baltijos Tyrimai executive, noted in the survey.
She attributed an inconsiderable decline in optimism in the general assessment of life's prospects, compared with 2003, to the presidential scandal that dominated the news over the fall-winter period.
In the European Union countries, 31 percent of residents expect a general improvement in life conditions, whereas 49 percent do not see any brighter prospects.