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Slovaks too passive to protest

ALMOST one third of Slovaks joined protests against the Communist regime in 1989, according to an MVK poll. Images of squares packed with people expressing their opposition to the regime are still recalled by Slovaks.

However, the daily SME suggests that after the fall of Communism the very people who protested became passive and there are now only very few events that can drag Slovaks out of their apathy.

In the past few days students in eight Slovak cities made some attempts to commemorate November 17, 1989, but participation was very low. Banská Bystrica saw about 15 students gathered, while Košice and Žilina attracted just 20. In Trenčín about 200 students met while in Zvolen 300 commemorated the anniversary.

However, just recently, the organizers of a rally against neo-Nazism did manage to arouse large numbers of people’s interest.

Nevertheless, sociologist Pavol Haulík does not see this as a sign of Slovaks' greater willingness to take to the streets and protest. Haulík says that Slovaks prefer seeking individual solutions and that it is not in their nature to revolt and demonstrate.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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