EU support increases in June

  • 2002-07-25

Support for joining the European Union rose sharply in Latvia last month, with 45.5 percent of residents intending to vote to join the bloc in a referendum due next year, according to poll results released July 17.

The number of residents who intend to vote "yes" in the referendum climbed by four percentage points from the previous poll in May, while the "no" votes slipped by 0.9 percent to 38.5 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Latvian Facts polling firm.

Undecideds fell by 4.1 points to 16 percent.

"Society is better informed and can make a positive choice," Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins said in response to the poll.

The poll findings suggest some reversal of the fall in support which followed EU proposals on the future of agriculture earlier this year, which envisage farmers in the new member states initially receiving just 25 percent of the financial support which farmers in the existing member states receive from the EU.

"I am convinced that people have understood their interests and the interests of farmers are being protected," the Baltic News Service quoted Berzins as saying.