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Poll: Slovakia unlikely terrorist target

TERRORISTS will never attack Slovakia, according to 52 percent of respondents in a Markant survey for the daily SME. Nevertheless, 42 percent think that, following the London outrage, there will be a further terrorist attack in an EU country within one year.

Analyst Ivo Samson of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) thinks the public perception quite realistic: Slovakia is unlikely to be the target of a terrorist attack. "Terrorism is mainly about a theatre. A terrorist attack without publicity is like a play without an audience. I think that an attack on Slovakia would miss the main target, which is to attract global public attention. From this point of view London is a better target than Bratislava," said Samson.

Based on the survey, almost 40 percent of Slovak citizens think that some western countries aggressive policy is the main cause of terrorism. About 38 percent of people see the cause as religion and ideological fanaticism.

Sociologist Pavol Haulík told the daily SME, the numbers in the survey represent only a mix of opinions and are similar to perceptions in other European countries.

Haulík added that apart from religious fanaticism, terrorism is also interpreted as the result of the West’s policies against Arab and Muslim countries and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Slovak opinion lies somewhere in the centre, not siding with any form of extremism.

According to Samson from SFPA, in Western Europe there is a strong belief that the US’s policies towards Arab and Muslim countries creates a backlash and may be the cause of terrorism.

"A recent survey showed that an absolute majority of Finnish consider the US the greatest threat to peace and that it is responsible for the spread of terrorism. In Great Britain, however, that is a minority opinion,” Samson said.

There is also a difference of opinion about terrorism between the US and the European Union. While the EU sees terrorism as a consequence of poverty, and it is open to change, the US talks about aggressive regimes, the solution to which is to remove the regime.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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