Economy, International News

Lithuanian residents are more worried about damage to the economy than in Western Europe

The countries that experienced the worst economic downturn during the crisis – Spain, Greece, Italy, France – are more likely to value the health benefits of restrictions

Residents of Lithuania and other Eastern and Central European countries are more likely than residents of the old EU countries to believe that the damage to the economy will outweigh the health benefits due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Vilnius Policy Analysis Institute reported on its Facebook page.

“On a scale of one (health benefits outweigh economic harms) to six (economic harms outweigh health benefits), newcomers to the EU (except Romania and Malta) have higher average scores than older EU members, meaning that Eastern Europeans believe that the damage to the economy from restrictions caused by the pandemic outweigh the health benefits,”

the analysis says.

It is noted that respondents’ attitudes toward the effects of restrictions differ from macroeconomic trends. According to Eurostat, economic growth in many Eastern and Central European countries slowed down relatively less than in Southern and Western Europe in 2020.
Even the countries that experienced the worst economic downturn during the crisis – Spain, Greece, Italy and France – are more likely to value the health benefits of restrictions. According to the assessment, respondents from Central and Eastern European countries, despite general trends in economic development, place more emphasis on damage to the economy, apparently prioritizing socioeconomic well-being, their own health and the health of others, or even life.

The survey of European citizens was conducted in three stages: the first wave – in April-May 2020 (Lithuania and other Baltic states did not participate), the second – in June 2020, and the third – from September to October.
There were over 276 thousand cases of COVID-19 in Lithuania, more than 4.3 thousand people died. The quarantine has now been extended in Lithuania until the end of June. Its conditions have been relaxed, especially for holders of “passports of opportunity.

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