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Slovak national pride slipped last year

CITIZENS of Slovakia are less proud of their country than they were a year before, according to a public opinion poll from the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and the Focus agency, conducted in late 2007.

CITIZENS of Slovakia are less proud of their country than they were a year before, according to a public opinion poll from the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and the Focus agency, conducted in late 2007.

The poll showed that 15 years after the birth of the independent Slovak Republic, two-thirds of Slovaks are proud of Slovakia, the ČTK newswire wrote. In a similar poll conducted during the same period in 2006, five percentage points more people said they had national pride.

“Over the last year, the circle of people who do not have feelings of pride for their homeland extended a bit,” said Oľga Gyarfášová from the institute.

But Slovaks are still more proud of Slovakia than four years ago, when only half of the survey respondents said they took pride in Slovakia and its achievements.

In 2003, only 49 percent of the respondents felt pride for Slovakia. That number increased by 10 percent in both 2004 and 2005, growing to 71 percent in 2006.

In 2006, the first year of the Robert Fico government, 23 percent of the respondents said they did not take pride in Slovakia. That increased to 28 percent this year.

Most people who feel pride for Slovakia’s achievements are people with a university education - 81 percent of university-educated survey respondents said they had pride in Slovakia. That was followed by entrepreneurs (76 percent) and creative workers (75 percent). People with a basic education (60 percent), pensioners (57 percent), unqualified workers (54 percent) and the unemployed (55 percent) are less likely to be proud.

From a regional point of view, citizens from the Trenčín Region (84 percent) are the proudest of Slovakia, while citizens from the Nitra Region, where many residents belong to the Hungarian minority, are the least proud (52 percent). In terms of political parties, supporters of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) are proudest - 84 percent of their followers said they had national pride, followed by supporters of the ruling Smer party with 77 percent, and the ruling coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) with 75 percent.

Most other political parties also had a majority of their followers voice their pride in Slovakia. The exception was the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) - 54 percent of its voters said they are not proud of Slovakia.

The survey polled 1,019 respondents in October and November 2007.

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