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Opinion poll: Romanians disinterested in politics, trusting the army, prefer technocrat government and “iron fist” president

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Romanians, mostly not interested in politics, have confidence in the army, prefer the country to be headed by a technocrat government and an “iron fist” president and, although they think Europe and Romania are going to wrong directions, most of them say the economic situation of their family is a very good one. These are the results of an opinion poll made by Inscop Research.

The sociological study “Values, perceptions and presentations of people in Romania and the USA” is based on two opinion polls made simultaneously by Inscop Research (Romania) and The Polling Company (US). The polls were made in Romania over October 12-23, 2018 and in the US over October 19-22, 2018. People over 18 participated in these polls. People from every county and every Bucharest sector were interviewed în Romania.

Most Romanians, more exactly 74% of those who answered, consider that Romania is going to the wrong direction and 19% think it is going to the right direction, while in the US, 46% of Americans consider the US is going to the right direction and 44% consider the direction is wrong.

In the US people consider the economic factor when they answer the question, said Brett Loyd, president and CEO of The Polling Company, at the joint presentation made at the Romanian Academy on Tuesday. 40% of Americans do not know what to say about the direction of Europe and 35% say it is a wrong one. On the other hand, Romanians consider (40%) that the direction is agood one, while 43% say it is a wrong one. Loyd said the Americans have a more internalised thinking.

At general level, Romanians see the general situation în Romania as bad and very bad one (72%). 23% see the situation as good. On the other hand, in the US, 32% consider the general situation is good, 26% say it is bad and 18% say it is very bad.

From the economic point of view, over 70% of Romanians respondents consider the present economic situation of their country is bad *57%) or very bad (16%). Less than a quarter of people interviewed positively evaluate Romania’s economic situation.

Over half of Americans consider the present economic situation of their country is good (38%) or very good (18%). 35% negatively evaluate the economic situation in the US, 26% say it is bad and 9% consider it very bad. Over half of Romanians evaluate the economic situation of their family as good (57%) or very good (4%) and 35% consider their families are in a bad financial situation (30%) or very bad (5%).

About 60% of people interviewed in the US consider their families’ financial situation is good (47%) or very good (14%). About a third consider their families are in a bad (22%) or very bad (10%) situation.

The main problems of the country mentioned by the Romanians include: inflation/daily living costs (chosen by 69% of people interviewed), the economic situation (59%) and energy costs (53%). The top of problems facing respondents in Romania is completed by: the level of taxes, the job shortage.

Climate changes, immigration and terrorism are matters more rarely mentioned by Romanians. In the case of US respondents, the main problems confronting their country are: access to medical services (mentioned by 38% of respondents), immigration (38%) and inflation/ costs of daily living (36%). The top of problems is completed by terrorism (28%), climate changes (28%), economic situation (23%), tax level (20%). Energy costs and job shortage are seldom mentioned by Americans.

The confidence in institutions is measured on a special scale, by granting marks between 1 and 5, where 1 is very high and 5 very little. The institution mostly trusted by Romanians and Americans

is the Army. The police also benefits from a high confidence degree among the two people studied.

Among Romanian political institutions mentioned, the Presidency and local authorities enjoy the highest confidence. Political parties and the other central institutions, the government and Parliament are seen with distrust by Romanians.

In the US, local authorities also enjoy the highest confidence among enumerated institutions. Americans show little confidence in the Government, Congress and political parties.

The confidence Romanians and Americans have in justice is higher than the confidence in other fundamental institutions like Parliament/Congress or central/federal government. În Romania and the US a significant number of respondents choose a moderate answer, granting 3 points on a scale

from 1 to 5 for confidence.

On the overall, Romanians are rather disinterested în politics: 19% of respondents say they are not interested în politics, 31% are not very interested, while 28% are somehow interested. Only 7% are very interested of politics and 14% are interested enough. At the opposite pole, Americans are rather interested în politics. 26% of respondents are very interested in politics while 24% are interested enough.

It is very important for Romanians and Americans alike to live in a democratic regime, the Americans being more firm in this respect. For half of Romanians is it very important to live in a country governed democratically. A little over 10% chose a more reduced importance. Over three quarters of Americans consider it is very important to love in a country where there is a free electionsystem. Only 2% say this thing is less important. 49% of Romanians and 42% of Americans consider it would be useful for their country to have an iron fist leader.

About 60% of Romanians prefer to have a leader/president who should assume the role of mediator in society. 60% of Americans prefer to have a balance between state powers. 42% of Romanians consider a team of specialists should rule the country, as opposite to 32% of Americans.

Respondents in both Romania and the US are reserved about the increase of their country’s legislative forum. Romanians agree, to a higher extent than the Americans, with increased intervention of the state in economy. 70% of Romania’s population considers that the state shouldintervene more in economy, while only 30% of Americans share this opinion. Romanians also consider, to a greater extent than the Americans, that the state should tax rich people more (63% versus 52%), that differences between people’s incomes should be reduced (65% versus 39%).

Results were presented on Tuesday by Brett Loyd, president and CEO of The Polling Company and Darie Cristea, director of Inscop Research.

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