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EU membership good for economy, Slovaks say

ACCORDING to a Eurobarometer poll, the amount of Slovaks who see EU membership as beneficial for the domestic economy and employment is higher than the average for citizens of EU-member states as a whole.

The influence of Slovakia's EU membership is viewed "positively" or "somewhat positively" by 70 percent of Slovaks, while the EU average is 56 percent.

The influence of membership on domestic employment is viewed as positive by 63 percent of Slovaks, while the same opinion is held by only 38 percent of EU citizens as a whole.

According to the Eurobarometer report, which was done in September and was presented by the EC's representation in Slovakia on January 8, Slovak citizens believe the best way of improving the efficiency of the European economy is to improve education and provide professional training. Around 63 percent of Slovaks expressed this opinion, compared to the EU average of 65 percent.

The second best way of improving efficiency, according to Slovak citizens, is investing in infrastructure, while EU citizens tended to choose investing in research and development instead (this alternative was chosen third by Slovaks).

Eurobarometer claimed that when answering this question, Slovaks were probably thinking more of Slovakia than of the EU as a whole, which is why infrastructure was seen as more important. According to the report's authors, Slovaks are aware that most foreign investors in Slovakia build in the vicinity of existing motorways.

Seventy-three percent of Slovaks agreed that the best guarantee of economic growth is a free market environment, while the average support for this position in the EU is only 64 percent.

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