There is little more than a year and a half to go before Slovakia switches over to the euro, and a recent poll has shown that many Slovaks still have certain concerns toward the move. Forty-three percent of the survey's respondents had reservations concerning Slovakia's adoption of the euro on January 1, 2009.
The public opinion poll, conducted by the Statistics Bureau's Institute for Public Opinion Research from May 1 to 10 asked 1,083 people aged 18 and over the question: "What will euro adoption in Slovakia mean to you personally?"
Nearly a third of the polled (31 percent) said that euro adoption will be personally beneficial for them. Nineteen percent of the respondents said they thought "there will be no significant changes" and seven percent said that they did not know.
The most sceptical group of respondents was the supporters of the co-ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, with 58 percent of the group expecting the adoption to be detrimental. Other cases where the majority of the group thought euro adoption will be detrimental to themselves personally included pensioners, the unemployed and blue-collar workers (53 percent of all three categories), those with only a vocational secondary-school education (52 percent), those with only a primary-school education (50 percent), people living in the Košice Region (52 percent), people living in the Nitra Region (50 percent) and respondents over 60 (51 percent).
The level of optimism increased along with education level. The introduction of the euro was thought to be beneficial by 53 percent of university graduates, while only 15 percent of those with only a primary-school education agreed.
At the same time, it was observed that the older the age group, the lower the percentage of people expecting positive results.
Geographically, the highest percentage of respondents expecting benefits from euro adoption was found among residents of the Bratislava Region (43 percent). In terms of political tendencies, supporters of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union were the most optimistic (62 percent).
The survey also showed that the information Slovaks have on the introduction of the euro is inadequate. More than one half of the respondents said that they lack information about the euro adoption while only one third of the respondents said the information that is already available is enough.
The main advantages that respondents said the new currency will bring include the ease of dealing with the currency when travelling abroad, easier and more transparent shopping abroad and being able to better compare prices.
They also think it could help stabilize the currency and improve Slovakia's economic situation. Slovaks greatest fears when it comes to euro adoption include the fear that the new currency would push prices up, cut incomes and pensions and reduce the standard of living.
2. Jul 2007 at 0:00