VILNIUS - The results of a recent public opinion poll have found that Lithuanians are becoming increasingly pessimistic about their country's economic future and ability to compete in the European market.
According to the poll conducted by Vilmorus for theEuropean Commission's Representation in Lithuania, The percentage of respondents expecting Lithuania's economic situation toimprove fell to 35 percent from 40 percent a year ago and the percentage ofthose anticipating a further decline in unemployment was down to 39 percentfrom 51 percent.
People continue to see rising prices, the brain drain and the use ofLithuanians as cheap labor by foreign countries as the main disadvantages ofthe EU membership, the survey found. thepercentage of those worried that Lithuanians are used as cheap labor abroadincreased to 52.5 percent from 50.4 percent.
The number of people skeptical about Lithuania's ability to compete withother EU countries has risen significantly over the year, to 63 percent from46 percent. Fifty-six percent of respondents said that they did not seeLithuania as an EU leader in any area.
The poll, however, was not all negative. The percentage of those expecting a significant increase in prices in Lithuania due to EU membership fell to 75 percent from 82 percent. The percentage of respondents concerned about the brain drain from Lithuania also declined slightly, to 64 percent from 67.8 percent.
Vilmorus polled 1,002 people in 21 cities and towns and in 63 rural areasin late August to early September.