Polls, stats, trends

Neighbours more tolerant of gays

FOLLOWING a recent gay rights demonstration in Poland, the SME daily reported the results of a survey comparing attitudes to homosexuals and gay rights issues in Slovakia and its neighbours, including Poland.

The survey shows that Slovaks are considerably less tolerant towards homosexuals than Czechs.

The Georg and Focus agencies carried out the survey in October in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary.

The results reveal that 24 percent of the 1,075 Slovaks questioned were in favour of same-sex marriages. This is similar to the figure for Hungary (25 percent). Poles were found to be less open-minded with regard to this issue, with just 11 percent in favour, while the percentage of Czechs who agreed with same-sex marriages was almost double that of Slovaks, at 42 percent.

When asked if homosexuals should have the right to officially register their relationships, 39 percent of Slovaks agreed. A similar percentage of Poles (42 percent) and Hungarians (36 percent) were also in favour of this right, while as many as 62 percent of Czechs said that they thought this should be possible.

Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents in favour of homosexuals having the right to adopt children was as follows: Hungarians (26 percent); Czechs (18 percent); Slovaks (14 percent); and Poles (9 percent).

Historian Dušan Kováč thinks that Slovaks are more conservative than Czechs because they tend to be more religious. Kováč pointed out that surveys have shown that unlike Slovaks, most Czechs do not claim to have a religious faith.

Lesbian activist Hana Fábry agrees. She also points to the influence of the governing coalition, the Christian Democrats (KDH), in Slovakia. "People (in Slovakia) are influenced by the strenuous attempts of Catholic Church representatives and the KDH to discredit the gay community," she said.

Young Slovaks could care less about politics

THE INTEREST and engagement of young Slovaks in politics is lower compared to young people in the established EU member states, a new poll revealed.

In Slovakia, around 38 percent of secondary and elementary pupils are interested in the country's political developments. In Germany, this figure is at 51 percent, the TASR news agency reported.

Young Slovaks care more about developments at their schools rather than in politics, and around 15 percent of them reported being active in student bodies.

"In total, around 5 to 6 percent of the students are able to actively organize something such as a petition," said Ladislav Macháček, the author of the sociological survey.

The survey also showed that although young people are aware of the attributes of a democracy, they do not know how it affects their lives. The majority of students know that general elections take place every four years, but few were able to respond to whether the prime minister was entitled to dissolve the parliament.

Politics is not a big topic for discussion in families either. Of the secondary pupil respon-dents, 26 and 30 percent, respectively, said they never discussed politics with their mothers and fathers. Of university students, 15 percent said they never talked about politics with their parents.

Locals carry small amounts of cash

A RECENT survey found that most Slovaks do not carry large sums of money on them. This is thanks to the increasing number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) available and the fact that people are afraid of losing their cash, the TASR news agency wrote.

The survey was carried out by the GfK Slovakia agency on 1,000 respondents aged between 15 and 79. The respondents were asked how many Slovak crowns they had on them at that moment.

The largest group of respondents, 39.2 percent, stated that they were carrying between Sk100 and Sk500 (€2.60 to €13), while nearly 25 percent had only Sk1 to Sk100 (€0.03 to €2.63).

Less than 1 percent of those questioned were carrying more than Sk5,000 (€132). A little more than 6 percent said they did not have a single crown.

A third think life has improved

ALMOST a third of Slovaks think that their living standards have improved since the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In a poll carried out by the statistical office, 29 percent expressed this view.

On the other hand, 12 percent said that they did not feel any change in their quality of life, the TASR news agency wrote.

The poll, carried out on 1,260 respondents in early November, showed that level of happiness depends on age and education as well as in which region the respective respondents live.

In the poll, 34 percent of people said that since November 1989, when Communism fell, their expectations had been fulfilled. Another 38 percent said they had not invested any hopes into the revolution.

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