Living standards, social security most urgent issues for Slovaks

LIVING standards, social security and unemployment are the most urgent topics for Slovaks, a survey conducted by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in November last year showed.

LIVING standards, social security and unemployment are the most urgent topics for Slovaks, a survey conducted by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in November last year showed.

Slovaks also deemed corruption and moral values, crime and organized crime as pressing problems, followed by politics and democracy, economy and privatization, and education, the SITA news agency wrote.

Respondents expressed concern about the same topics in a 2004 poll. However, there was a moderate decline in the urgency expressed about socio-economic problems, compared with the previous poll.

In that poll, citizens worried more about problems related to ethics, corruption, politics, and democracy.

For the first time the problem of extremism, racism and xenophobia appeared among the 10 most urgent problems. IVO's Zora Bútorová suggests this might be a reaction to the murder of student Daniel Tupý by suspected far-right extremists at the beginning of November 2005.

The perception of regional differences has not changed over a year.

Residents of individual regions still complain about dramatic differences in opportunities, with the Bratislava region seen as having better opportunities than Slovakia's other regions.

The survey shows that frustration over the lack of opportunity rises the further eastward one goes.

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