Slovaks among EU's least happy nations

SLOVAKS rank among the most dissatisfied people in the European Union, according to a poll published November 8. The survey, conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, found that Slovaks look to the future with less optimism than most other EU nations.

Slovaks are also more critical of their social, health and education systems than people in other countries, the TASR news agency wrote.

Only six percent of Slovaks view the future with optimism. In the Czech Republic 21 percent are optimistic. The average in all new member states is 18 percent, with 19 percent in the EU15.

Around 19 percent of Slovaks are afraid of losing their jobs, in the Czech Republic 16 percent, in new member states 17 percent and in the EU15 only 8 percent.

Slovaks are very critical of their social, health and education systems, awarding them 3.7, 3.6 and 4.3 points respectively on a 1 to 10 point system.

Using the 1 to 10 scale, the survey measured how satisfied people are with their lives. Slovaks expressed satisfaction at only 5.7 points on average, while the neighbouring Czechs scored satisfaction at 6.5. Compared to the Slovaks, only people in Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Turkey were less satisfied with their lives.

A majority of Slovaks, 64 percent, cannot afford to spend a week's holiday away from home, while in the Czech Republic only 34 percent cannot. Sixty-one percent of people in the new EU countries do not have the money to go away for a week, compared with 24 percent of people in the EU15.

The survey was conducted on 26,000 respondents last year in 28 European countries, including all EU members and Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

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