18:39 17.02.2009

Ukrainians have lost confidence in government's handling of crisis, says poll

Over a half of Ukrainians think that the government led by Premier Yulia Tymoshenko cannot bring Ukraine out of the economic crisis, and that it should resign, according to a survey conducted by Sofia Center for Sociological Studies on February 3-12.

The results of the poll were presented at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Tuesday. A total of 2,018 respondents from all Ukrainian regions aged over 18 participated in the interview. The poll's margin of error is 2.2%.

According to the study, 59.1% of those polled said that the activities of Tymoshenko are aimed at defending her own interests and the interests of her entourage, while 23.9% believe she wants to defend national interests, 4.2% the interests of foreign states, and another 12.8% failed to answer.

A total of 77.7% of respondents said they were to a certain extent dissatisfied with the economic policies of Tymoshenko's government, while 18.5% expressed their satisfaction, and 3.8% were undecided.

Some 71.8% of those polled believe that the current government is unable to handle the economic crisis and change the situation for the better, 18.1% have the opposite opinion, and 10.1% were undecided.

A total of 59.1% of Ukrainians described the gas talks with Russia as unsuccessful and think the gas supply agreement was signed under unprofitable terms for Ukraine, whereas 17.7% have the opposite view.

Some 64.3% of those polled expressed confidence that Ukraine's economy would be badly hit after a rise in gas prices and the expenditures of citizens significantly grow, 25.9% believe there will be certain difficulties for the economy, without any serious consequences, and 5% said this would only benefit the national economy.

A total of 54.6% of respondents support to a certain degree the Regions Party's proposal to dismiss the government for its poor work, 37.1% slammed this idea, and 8.3% were undecided.

Some 38.6% of those polled said that Tymoshenko should resign as prime minister if she is concealing the truth about the actual situation in the national economy, 24.7% want the premier to be called to account in this case, and 22.6% believe she should not be punished, as she was trying to prevent panic among people.

"Distrust is growing in the leader of the Cabinet of Ministers as a figure defending national interests. More people think that in many decisions, particularly those on gas problems, in her relations with the president, and in the economic sector, she [Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko] is defending her own interests," Center Director Andriy Yermolayev said.

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