Climate change, international terrorism and the global refugee situation are among the chief concerns for Finns on the eve of the centenary of the independence of Finland, finds a survey commissioned by the Advisory Board for Defence Information (ABDI).
As many as four-fifths (81%) of respondents indicated they are either somewhat or much concerned about international terrorism, signalling an increase of six percentage points from the previous year.
Climate change is similarly a concern for a growing number of Finns, with three-quarters (75%) of respondents – four percentage points more than in the previous year – naming it as a concern. The share of respondents concerned about the global refugee situation, by contrast, has decreased moderately from 85 to 83 per cent since 2016.
Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents also voiced their concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and almost two-thirds (63%) about cyber threats against information networks.
Finland’s continuing economic recovery, on the other hand, has seemingly alleviated several economy and employment-related concerns among Finns. The share of respondents concerned about the employment situation in Finland, for example, has decreased from 84 to 71 per cent and that of respondents concerned about the economic outlook for Europe from 75 to 65 per cent over the past twelve months.
Finns’ concerns about the situations in Syria and Ukraine have similarly lessened, although they remain a concern for 64 and 43 per cent of respondents respectively.
The survey was conducted between 22 September and 10 October by Taloustutkimus. It includes the responses of 1,001 15–79-year-old people.
The ABDI also measured public support for membership in Nato. The share of respondents who believe the country should apply for the membership has decreased by three percentage points from the previous year to 22 per cent, with men (26%) being more eager join the defence alliance than women (18%).
Support for the membership has fallen sharply especially among 25–34-year-old respondents – from 27 per cent in 2016 to 13 per cent in 2017.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Lehti – Lehtikuva