EU Social Imbalances Worsen, Bulgarians Top Discontents

EU Social Imbalances Worsen, Bulgarians Top Discontents

The imbalances in the social climate of the European Union - especially between "new" and "old" EU member states are growing, according to a new Eurobarometer survey released by the European Commission.

"The European Union is going through particularly challenging times with hard choices and priority shifts that influence people's everyday life," said EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Laszlo Andor, speaking ahead of the EU Poverty Convention in Cracow, Poland, which is taking place on October 17.

He stressed how the survey results highlighted the growing gap between countries compared to 2010, with the situation in wealthier countries improving and the countries at the bottom of the scale worsening.

"Putting growth, employment and social cohesion on an equal footing is vital for Europe's recovery because achieving real prosperity also means taking well-being into account when measuring our progress," Andor added.

The Eurobarometer survey on the EU's social climate shows that although EU citizens remain negative when evaluating the general situation of their country, they seem to feel that the economy is recovering and are largely satisfied and positive regarding their personal situation, a statement of the EC says, stressing also that "the overall optimistic evaluation of life in general is higher than the 2010 wave of analysis, although today's survey shows that people feel daily life is more costly than last year."

Concerning the household financial situation, Sweden ranks first (scoring +5 points) followed by Denmark (+4.7), Luxembourg (+4.6) and the Netherlands (+4.2). Hungary showed the lowest score (-2.5), followed by Bulgaria (-2.3), Romania and Greece (both with -2.1).

The majority of Member States report positive scores for current health care systems, although differences between countries are substantial. Belgium marks the highest score (+6.3), followed by Austria (+5.2), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (+5.3 each). The least satisfied are citizens in Romania (-5.1), Greece (-3.7), Bulgaria (-2.8), Latvia (-2.6) and Poland (-2.4).

Optimism that things will improve in the next twelve months has progressed since the previous survey, with positive evolutions in many scores. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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