The situation is most dire in Greece, where more than half of respondents are struggling to pay heating bills, a think tank has found
More than a quarter of Europeans are experiencing problems heating their homes and paying debts for housing and utilities, the Hungarian media reported on Friday citing a survey by the Szazadveg think tank.
According to the survey, dubbed Europe Project, 26% of EU residents, or roughly 100 million people, are unable to properly heat their homes. Greeks appeared to be the worst affected, with 56% of the population facing difficulties with heating. In Portugal and France, 34% of residents described the same problems. Finland, Hungary, Austria and Denmark were the least affected, with less than 15% of residents admitting to difficulties.
Every fourth respondent in the survey said they were unable to pay their heating bill at least once during the past year. That figure was also the highest in Greece, with 51% of the population affected, followed by Cyprus with 37%, Ireland and Bulgaria, with 35% each.
The respondents blamed inflation for their problems, as rising prices on everything from energy to food impact their ability to pay bills.
According to the survey, heating bills have become far less affordable than in 2021. The authors noted that in 2021, based on data from Europe’s official statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.9% of European households (some 29.9 million people) were unable to adequately heat their homes, and 6.4% struggled with paying bills.
The survey was conducted among 38,000 randomly selected European adults between October 13 and December 7, 2022. The research covered the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.