Pessimists and optimists in balance in Slovakia

ACCORDING to a recent survey by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) think tank, 46 percent of Slovaks believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 50 percent of people believe the opposite.

"Such a balanced evaluation is very uncommon," said IVO sociologist Zora Bútorová.

Young people with university education holding white-collar jobs prevail in the group of optimists, the daily SME wrote.

Slovak people felt the greatest pessimism eight years ago, before elections in 1998 resulted in the defeat of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Since then, people in Slovakia have been more optimistic than pessimistic only once - in January 1999, when 47 percent believed the nation was heading in the right direction, while 34 percent did not.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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