World Happiness Report: Bulgarians and Greeks are the unhappiest in Europe

10 September 2013 – Presseurop Trud, Ta Nea

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“Bulgarians are very unhappy,” announces the Trud front page. In the World Happiness Report published on September 8, Bulgaria is ranked 144th out of 156 states, which makes it the least happy country in Europe. Only poor African countries and Syria are more gloomy, notes the daily.

The criteria for the survey conducted by Columbia University’s Earth Institute in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network were: life expectancy, gross domestic product (GDP), the absence of corruption, freedom to make choices, generousity, and having someone you can count on.

According to a Gallup poll quoted by Trud, "the main reasons for gloom in Bulgaria are the ubiquitous corruption and a lack of the freedom to make choices, which is even more limited than it is in Botswana, the country just below Bulgaria in the rankings."

In Greece, Ta Nea leads with a headline on the “Misfortune of being Greek.” In 70th position, just behind the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Greece is the only European country to have slid down the rankings. In 2010-2012, the level of happiness in Greece was 5.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, as opposed to 6.3 for the 2005-2007 period.

“Unemployment is the key reason for the gloom” and the fact that “the satisfaction of citizens is in freefall,” reports Ta Nea. “Greeks do not feel they have the freedom to make choices or to rely on social support."

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