Poll: Serbians optimistic about 2013

BELGRADE -- As many as 60 percent of Serbia's citizens believe that this year will be better compared to 2012, a new B92/Ipsos Strategic Marketing polls has shown.


20 percent said they expect the year to be overall worse, while 15 percent expect no change.

The survey, conducted in the last days of 2012 with the participation of 1,005 respondents, also revealed that there was a consensus on the "greatest challenges" ahead: they are unemployment (30%), poverty (17%) and low standard of living (12%).

Serbia got a new government during 2012, whose declared goals are to combat corruption, continue EU integration, and find a solution for the Kosovo issue. The poll showed that Serbians have faith in the government when it comes to its anti-corruption push - as many as 59 percent expect this to be successful, while 38 percent are of the opposite opinion.

At the same time, 58 percent see as "feasible" the cabinet's goal to start EU negotiations, while 35 percent doubt such an outcome.

As for Kosovo - only 30 percent think that a solution to the problem, now spanning several decades, will be found, while 63 percent do not expect this to happen in 2013.

But despite the difficulties and challenges that the country faces, Serbians seem to be optimistic about the future, with 66 percent saying that they believe their lives will improve this year, while 16 and 15 percent respectively expect no change, or change for the worse.

However, at the same time 46 percent believe that their salaries will not change, while 32 percent expect to be earning more in 2013. 19 percent are pessimists who think their salaries will drop.

Asked how they planned to spend New Year's Eve, 79 percent of respondents said they would stay at home. Seven and five percent respectively were headed to a party or a friend's apartment, while two percent planned to ring in the new year in open-air gatherings.