Every week, surveys from all across the EU tell us what Europeans are thinking, feeling and talking about. In our new segment, eupinions echo, we collect these voices and play them back to you. Each week, we highlight one survey of particular interest in a short blogpost and share daily new survey results via our website and our twitter channel.
Italy has been one of the countries hit earliest and hardest by COVID-19. But while strict lockdown regulations were eventually successful in reducing new infection numbers to a minimum, Italy's worries are far from over as the same rules and regulations that helped save the country, also have had a devastating effect on the its economy and its citizens' financial security. Two new national surveys have now tried to gauge the extend of these worries.
The first survey, which was conducted by the Bank of Italy showed that about half of all Italians (51%) reported that their household income had shrunk over the past two months of the pandemic, while a similar share of respondents (47%) believed that their household income would decrease further over the next 12 months, even after a possible end to the pandemic. Within that 12-month time frame 7% of Italians feared that their income would decrease by over 50% compared to their income now. In addition, more than a third of Italians (38%) stated that they did not have enough liquid resources to cover essential household expenses such as food and rent for more than three months and more than half of those interviewed believe that even when the epidemic is over, they will spend less on travel, holidays, restaurants, cinema and theatres than they did before the crisis.
A second survey, conducted by Censis and Assogestioni, further underlines these grim results. A total of two thirds of all Italians (68%) are generally worried about their financial situation, a share even larger among young Italians (72%). When asked which mood or feeling was most dominant for Italians nowadays, the answer given by far most often was "uncertainty" with half of all Italians (50%) indicating this as their dominant mood.
Our very own eupinions trend data appears to confirm these findings. Almost half of all Italians (45%) consistently state that their personal economic situation has worsened over the last two years. This is the largest share out of all six individually polled member states and much higher than the EU27 average which currently sits at 30%.