Cypriots favorable towards common EU defence and foreign policy
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Dec 16 (CNA) -- Cypriots are strong supporters of a common foreign policy and defence policy in Europe, according to an opinion poll the European Union's statistics services Eurostat has conducted among the ten acceding countries and the three candidate countries.
According to the survey, 87 per cent of Cypriots questioned support a common defence policy and 81 per cent back a common foreign policy.
Cyprus has the highest percentages among all 13 countries that participated in the poll. In Turkey, support for a common defence policy reaches 58 per cent and for foreign policy 57 per cent.
About 73 per cent of Cypriot want to see a constitution for Europe in place, while the average figure among the 13 countries is 67 per cent. The overwhelming majority of those asked believes that enlargement is progressing at a fast pace.
Nearly 60 per cent of Cypriots back the euro and 33 per cent are against it. Most people asked in the ten acceding countries favour the euro.
On the economy, 24 per cent of Cypriots said the local economy in 2004 will improve, 45 per cent said it will take a turn for the worse and 18 per cent said it will remain the same as in 2003.
On the chances for professional success, 18 per cent of Cypriots said these would be better, another 18 per cent said it will be worse and 49 per cent said it will be much the same as at present.
More Cypriots, 45 per cent, believe the situation in employment will be worse, but 21 per cent said it will get better and 18 per cent said it will remain the same.
Cypriots said they trust their government, 71 per cent, another 73 per cent said they trust the House of Representatives, 87 per cent trust the army, 70 per cent the police, 67 per cent the legal system.
Television appears to be the medium most Cypriots trust, with 63 per cent of them saying this, 61 per cent trust the radio and 47 per cent the written press.
The survey was carried out in October and November this year among 12.165 persons over 15 who were asked their views about EU issues.