Even in rich European countries, the likelihood of civil unrest is increasing because of high fuel and food prices, according to an analysis by a British company
The risk of civil unrest has emerged this year in more than half of the world’s countries, thus ushering in a period of increased global instability fueled by inflation, the war in Ukraine, energy shortages and the lack of basic household goods. shows a new analysis published by the publication “Business Insider”. It is the work of UK-based risk analysis group VeriskMaplecroft. According to its Civil Unrest Index, between the second and third quarters of 2022, the risk of civil unrest increased in 101 of the world’s 198 countries. A report by the company indicates that the risk of collisions has decreased in only 42 countries.
“Regardless of the fact that large-scale protests were observed in many places during the first half of the year, there is no doubt that
the worst is yet to come,”
said the analysis, which also uses intelligence. The index is based on a number of factors, including inflation levels, how the country handles crises and how devastating civil unrest could be on a country’s infrastructure.
The study indicates that most rich countries in Europe are likely to be rocked this winter by street protests due to high energy prices and declining household purchasing power, Western media also revealed. Germany and Norway are two of the highly developed economies in which daily life is subject to disruption of the usual rhythm due to frequent social actions. Britain has already felt the wrath of the masses, who rose up because of the huge jump in gas prices, “Verisk” points out. It is curious that the Netherlands and Switzerland are among the countries with the greatest risk.
“In the middle of winter, it will be a surprise for some developed countries in Europe to see quite serious forms of civil discontent,” says chief analyst Torbjörn Soltved.
The study recalls that the Russian-instigated war in Ukraine has led to a record increase in food prices, and
Europe has found itself at the center of a severe fuel crisis due to its heavy dependence on Russian gas
“Added to all this are the still-unrelenting effects of the pandemic, which has led to disruptions in supply chains,” adds analyst Jimena Blanco. The prices of food and energy sources also went up due to the unprecedented drought and water deficit related to climate change, according to “Verisk”.
The rise in the prices of basic food products has given rise to a wide range of social discontent – from peaceful movements to violence-dominated protests – in both developed and developing countries of the Old Continent, the analysis says. In Mauritius, Cyprus and Ukraine, civil discontent grew the most in the third quarter compared to the second. Russia is seventh on the list, and Norway is 13th.
The report indicates that countries that managed to find funds to deal with the pandemic, but now find it difficult to maintain social spending to support the population, are also at great risk.
These countries include Egypt, Bolivia, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The situation in Sri Lanka has been characterized as particularly serious, where mass protests against the worst economic crisis in modern history have shaken the government and led to the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July. According to Verisk forecasts, inflation is likely to slow slightly in the last quarter of the year, but will worsen again in early 2023.
“Only a significant reduction in food and fuel prices can reverse the global negative trend in terms of the risk of civil unrest,” the British company points out. According to her, what the weather will be will also be key to the strength of the responses to the crisis. She will be much fiercer,
if the winter and spring turn out to be colder than usual
The next 6 months will be the most difficult, Verisk predicts.
The survey, which coincides with the analysis of the British, measures the fears of European citizens of social destabilization and reaches the same conclusions. It was made in 4 countries – France, Germany, Poland and Great Britain by order of the non-governmental organization “More in Common”, reports Euronews. The survey clearly shows that material support is the main concern of the citizens of the 4 countries, who expect the growth of inflation to lead to strikes, protests and street clashes in the coming months. In France, 4 out of 10 people believe that the “yellow vest” riots will be renewed. However, the Poles are the ones who are most convinced that there will be mass riots in the winter and spring – 75% think so, compared to 69% of the French, 64% of the Germans and 57% of the British.
One in 5 people surveyed said they had to dip into their savings to make ends meet, and one in 10 admitted to cutting back on food. The majority still believe that the crisis will be short, but a part are not optimistic and see no light at the end of the tunnel. 66% of the British state that in winter they will have to save on heating because of the high prices, 64% of the Germans, 60% of the French and 50% of the Poles share the same opinion.
The survey also shows that the citizens of the 4 major European countries
have very low confidence in the ability of
their governments to deal with the crisis
Russia has been blamed as the main culprit for the dire situation, but national authorities and energy companies are also seen as part of the problem. The pessimism expressed is very high – most Europeans do not believe that the material standard of living will improve soon, and one in three respondents do not think that this will ever happen at all.