Poll: Relations with Hungarians have worsened

RELATIONS between Slovakia and Hungary have worsened over the past few months, according to 62 percent of respondents in a poll conducted by the MVK agency for the Sme daily.

While ruling politicians say that the reason for this change in opinion is the changed composition of the Slovak government, the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) insists that government politicians have themselves contributed to the negative environment surrounding Hungarian-Slovak relations.

According to Deputy PM Dušan Čaplovič, relations between the Hungarian minority in Slovakia and the majority population are good. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) MP Ján Kovarčík thinks that the SMK is trying to exacerbate the situation because it is not a member of the new coalition government.

This opinion is shared by around 35 percent of HZDS and Slovak National Party (SNS) voters. In general, 16.9 percent of all respondents said that this was the main reason for the worsened relations between Slovaks and Hungarians.

The next most likely reason, according to 11 percent of respondents, was the statements of SNS leader Ján Slota, while 10.1 percent of respondents believed that the case of Hedviga Malinová, the alleged victim of an ethnic attack, contributed to the situation. Only 8.8 percent of people surveyed believed that the presence of the SNS in the new Slovak government has caused relations to worsen.

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