Twenty-six per cent of Bulgarians polled in a survey done for the European Council on Foreign Relations believe that the government is using Covid-19 as a cover to increase its control over people’s lives.
A report on the findings of the poll, titled Europe’s invisible divides: How Covid-19 is polarising European politics, written by Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard, divides those surveyed into three groups.
“The first group – the Trustful – think that the main motivation was public safety and stopping the spread of the virus. A second group – the Suspicious – think that the biggest motivation was to cover up the impotence and incompetence of the government with a simulacrum of action. And the third group – the Accusers – blame governments for using Covid-19 as cover to increase their control over people’s lives.”
In Bulgaria, the Trustful added up to 50 per cent, the Accusers 26 per cent and the Suspicious 24 per cent.
The poll found that 56 per cent of Bulgarians felt that the restrictions imposed in the country in response to the Covid-19 pandemic were “about right”, 24 per cent said that they were too strict and 20 per cent, not strict enough.
In response to a question “How free do you feel in your everyday life today, in terms of your ability to lead your life as you see fit?” 31 per cent of Bulgarians polled said that they felt free – a figure down from 62 per cent in pre-crisis 2019.
Forty-eight per cent said that they felt “partly free”, 17 per cent said that they did not feel free and four per cent responded “don’t know”.
Asked who they thought was responsible for the Covid-19 crisis, 48 per cent of Bulgarians blamed other individuals, 39 per cent institutions and governments, and 12 per cent “no one”.