Results of our studies

MOSCOW, August 17, 2007 Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) in cooperation with National Agency for Financial Studies (NAFS) presents information concerning who is to blame for the financial crisis of August 1998, whether our country managed to overcome the consequences of the crisis and to what extent is it possible that the crisis may happen again in the near future.

More than half of Russians assume that the responsibility for the financial crisis of 1998 lies, first of all, on the government headed by President B.Yeltsin: the number of supporters of this point of view grew from 57% in 2004 to 66% in 2005 and was reduced to 54% in 2007.

15%-17% for each option make the oligarchs, the government of S.Kirienko and the democrats-reformers responsible for the crisis; fewer respondents indicate that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and foreign creditors (8%) were responsible for it. The share of those who blame the government of S.Kirienko for the default was reduced during the last three years, from 21% to 16%; whereas the number of those who find it difficult to provide an estimation grew from 15%-18% to 23%.

The opinion that the government headed by B.Yel'tsin was guilty in the default, prevails in all groups, chosen according to the criteria of sex, age, level of education, income per family member, type of settlement. The supporters of this point of view are especially numerous among the representatives of the older generation (60 years and older) - 62%, least of all supporters of this opinion are among the young people of 18-24 years - 38%, however 40% among the youth find it difficult to provide an estimation (this share is considerably less numerous in other age groups and totals 16%-26%).

Have we overcome the consequence of default? The share of those considering that the country has already overcome the consequences of the default has consecutively grown from 9% in 2001 to 24% in 2007, while the share of pessimists, who assume that Russia still has a long way of overcoming the crisis in front of her, has on the contrary decreased from 37% to 19%. However, the relative majority of respondents (43-46%) constantly assume that Russia until now tries to gradually overcome the financial crisis of 1998.

The share of pessimists has increased from 8% in the group of respondents with high to very high own estimation of financial standing to 32% in the group of respondents with low own estimation of this factor, whereas the number of optimists, who assume that the country has already overcome the crisis has decreased from 41% to 16% respectively.

46% of respondents assume that the financial crisis of 1998 is not likely to be repeated this year (33% do not agree with them). The opinion of Russians about the probability of repeating the crisis were divided almost equally only two years ago (38% against 41%), and in 2004 public opinion considered a new default to be clearly possible (47% against 35%). Respondents, who relate themselves to groups with high and average estimation of financial standing are rather optimistically disposed (57% in the group with best financial standing identify that the crisis will not be repeated soon, 29% disagree with them, in the group with "average" income 48% are against 29%); there are more pessimists than optimists in the group of respondents with low estimation of own financial standing (43% against 36%).

The All-Russia opinion poll was conducted by VCIOM on July 28-29, 2007. 1600 respondents were interviewed in 153 population areas of 46 regions of Russia. The statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.

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