Over 80 percent of Romanians believe things in the country are headed in the wrong direction, and only 12.5 percent consider the opposite, found a survey conducted by INSCOP Research in partnership with market research company Verifield upon the commission of the Strategic Thinking Group think tank.
The percentage of dissatisfied respondents is up from June, when 68.1 percent thought that things were going on the right track, and also from March, when this category accounted for 70.3 percent.
48.8 percent of the respondents believe that Romanian companies and Romanian citizens are the main to blame for illegal logging in the country, while 44.8 percent consider these activities are committed mainly by foreign companies.
As regards bringing immigrants to Romania, 64.2 percent of the respondents believe this could cause serious problems in the Romanian society, while 30 percent opine that such a measure could help cover the economy's need for labor.
Asked if they would agree with Romania receiving refugees from other countries, 47.3 percent of the survey subjects answered "No, not at all", 38.8 percent replied "Yes, but only certain categories", 12.3 percent said "Yes, without conditions", and 1.6 percent did not answer.
President of Strategic Thinking Group, Remus Stefureac opines that "the overlap of three major crises in a short period of time" - the pandemic fallout, the economic & social, and the political crisis has triggered a state of "accentuated pessimism and a collapse of the public perception" about the direction the country is headed for.
"I think that we are currently witnessing one of the lowest levels of the 'right direction' indicator in the last decade, with the prospect of it getting even worse as the cold season approaches and the soaring energy prices are about to impact the cost of living. The consequences of ignoring the fact that 80 percent of Romanians believe that things are going in the wrong direction risk being dramatic, particularly as a significant part of the population will shift towards radical political options if the society's problems grow worse instead of being mended," he specified.
True Story Project vice president Dan Andronache believes that a "complex of external and internal factors" such as the fourth pandemic wave, inflation, the rise in utility prices, or the confusion in public health regulations increase the population's insecurity and discontent.
"This increase is reflected in an increased radicalization shift amid the rise of false or distorted information. The current results of our measurements, comparable to those of the surveys conducted in 2010 in the context of the global crisis, reflect the decoupling of politics from the realities of society," Dan Andronache said.
The third edition of the opinion poll "Public distrust: West vs. East, the rise of the nationalist current in the age of misinformation and the phenomenon of fake news" was conducted as part of a research project supported by The German Marshall Fund of the United States and funded by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation through the True Story Project.
The sociological survey took place between September 15 - 27 by questionnaire. The data was collected by computer-assisted telephone interviewing of a multi-tier sample of 1,204 people, representative for the significant social and demographic categories of Romania's non-institutionalized population. The maximum permitted data error is plus/minus 2.8 percent for a confidence level of 95 percent.