As many as 75 percent of Romanians believe their country is headed in the wrong directions, according to the findings of a national opinion poll called “Public perceptions of and attitudes toward conflict of interest at central and local levels in Romania,” commissioned by the Institute for Public Polices (IPP) and released on Monday.
According to the poll, just 20 percent of Romanians believe their country is headed in the right direction.
For things to work better in the country, Romanians believes the following issues have to be solved as a priority corruption (72 percent), missing jobs (64 percent), poverty (62 percent), small personal incomes (54 percent), embezzled public money (54 percent), and healthcare (46 percent).
Half of the respondents say they are interested or very interested in the conflict of interest issue, while 17 percent are not interested at all. Nevertheless, just 6 percent of them say they are very well informed about the issue, while 33 percent are well informed; 18 are not informed at all.
A majority of the respondents (48 percent) see the conflict of interest in the public sector as “a conflict between the personal interests of a public servant and the public interest.” A similar 16 percent believe the defection of the conflict of interest is “a conflict among the interests of public servants,” or “a conflict between the personal interests of the same public servant.” Irrespective of their definition, 78 percent of Romanians believe the conflict of interest to be an act of corruption.
The poll was conducted March 10-24 on a nationally representative sample of 1,085 people aged 18 years and over. It has an error margin of plus/minus three percent.
It was part of a project for early detection and prevention of conflicts of interest in the local public administration implemented under the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme.
IPP says that it hosted a debate on Monday, jointly with the National Integrity Agency, for the release of the study.