Slovaks’ optimism towards the EU and its institutions, such as the European Parliament and the European Commission, saw a significant drop in 2011, according to European Commission Representative to Slovakia Dušan Chrenek at a press conference on Tuesday, March 6. Presenting the results of Eurobarometer Survey No. 76 from autumn 2011, Chrenek said that Slovak people are becoming more critical in their attitude towards the EU.
“Up to 65 percent of Slovaks thought that the EU was on the right track in autumn 2010, whereas that figure dropped to 55 percent in the spring of 2011 and even to 43 percent in autumn 2011,” said the author of the National Eurobarometer Report, Ivan Kuhn, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Until autumn 2009, the opinions of Slovaks were normally optimistic, then a slight drop [in trust towards EU and its individual institutions] was encountered and was followed by a significant drop over the course of the past year,” he said.
Kuhn attributed this trend mostly to the debt crisis in Europe, and the bailouts of Greece and other countries. "Many Slovaks are not happy with [contributing money to] that, but not because they lack solidarity," claimed Kuhn. "People don't like the fact that they have to help a country that is not poorer than Slovakia. That significantly influences the opinions of Slovak citizens, which used to be strongly pro-European and optimistic until now." The Eurobarometer survey was carried out between November 5 and 20 on a sample of 1,000 respondents older than 15.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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