Across Europe, the cost of energy, food, and housing is skyrocketing. Now, a new poll has revealed that over 70% of people are concerned about the cost of living.
The poll, which was conducted by YouGov and published by More in Common, surveyed over 7,000 people in the UK, Germany, France, and Poland.
It found that most people living in those countries believe the cost of living is the most important issue facing citizens, with many predicting protests, strikes, and social unrest.
Inflation in Europe reached an all-time high in the last month. Data shows that it reached 8.9% in July, the highest level recorded since the euro was introduced as a single currency.
Europeans are already feeling the effects of the energy crisis, which has been worsened by disruption to markets caused by the war in Ukraine and China’s zero-Covid policies.
The survey shows that approximately 20% of people are relying on their savings to pay for essentials and 10% said they have started skipping meals.
A majority of those surveyed said they were already shopping around for better deals on everyday items and were planning to cut back on heating over the winter months.
There are fears that high energy and food prices will trigger a sharp rise in the number of households living in poverty. The survey shows that just 1 in 20 households in France and Germany and 1 in 5 in the UK and Germany are coping financially with the price rises.
Another issue raised by the report is the possibility of social unrest. Around 75% of respondents in Poland and 57% in the UK said they were worried about protests in the coming months.
In France, 40% said they would like to see the return of the Yellow Vests, a protest movement that emerged in 2018 primarily in response to rising fuel costs.
The report says: “Many are already struggling to cope; having to draw from savings or skip meals, particularly among disengaged and low-trust segments of the population. The vast majority believe this won’t be a short crisis, with many seeing no end in sight.”
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