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Kukan earns highest marks from public

Bratislava: Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan merits the highest approval rating of any politican from the Slovak public, earning a solid "B" or "two" in the Slovak grading system, according to a poll by the daily newspaper Pravda.

On a scale of one to five, with one being excellent and five being failure, the average grade received by Slovak politicians was between 3.3 and 3.4. Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda for example, earned a three. Kukan was the only government member with a higher than "C" grade, and only 67 of the 7,000 respondents issued a "one" to any official.

In a related poll conducted by the Názory agency, Kukan again fared well when citizens were asked "Which officials should be replaced?" According to the results, the Minister with the most secure position is the new Telecom Minister Jozef Macejko - 2% of the respondents answered that he should be replaced - followed by Defence Minister Pavol Kanis (2.5%),Vice Premier for Integration Pavol Hamžík (2.6%), and Kukan (3.1%).

The highest disapproval ratings were given to Health Minister Tibor Šagát (31.7%), Vice Premier for Minorities, Human Rights and Regional Development Pál Csáky (27%), Economy Minister Ľudovít Černak (26%), Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda (25.7%), Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský and Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová (22.7%).

In response to his poor rating, Health Minister Šagat said it was clear that Slovak citizens did not understand "the chronic insufficiency of financial means."

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