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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovaks leery of post-1989 economic reforms

Ten years after the Velvet Revolution of November, 1989, 42% of the Slovak population believe the communist regime needed major changes. Another 42% holds the opinion that minor reforms would have sufficed, and 9% think there was no need for change at all. These numbers are the result of a poll conducted by the Focus agency of 1,052 respondents between October 4 and 13.

The poll also showed that the Slovak public has a reserved view of the economic reforms that occured after November, 1989. Only 28% of those polled said that the socialist economy needed radical reforms, while 46% spoke in favor of smaller changes; 17% of respondents said the socialist economy needed no changes.

The attitudes of those polled differed according to education and political preferences. Those with university educations were the most aware of the necessity of change (74%). In sharp contrast, 29% of those with elementary education felt that changes were necessary.

Political orientation also played a roll in shaping opinion, with partisans of the ruling Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) and, to a lesser extent, the Party of Civic Understanding (SOP) supporting a continuation of radical political and economic reforms after November 1989. Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) partisans were also in favor of economic reforms. Supporters of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) held negative opinions on these issues.

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