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People perceive November ‘89 events less positively

ABOUT 51 percent of Slovaks and 61 percent of Czechs perceive the events of November 1989 positively, the survey carried out in early October on more than 1,000 respondents in both countries showed. The data was collected by the Focus polling agency for Slovakia’s Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and Czech Public Opinion Research Center.

ABOUT 51 percent of Slovaks and 61 percent of Czechs perceive the events of November 1989 positively, the survey carried out in early October on more than 1,000 respondents in both countries showed. The data was collected by the Focus polling agency for Slovakia’s Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and Czech Public Opinion Research Center.

Compared to the survey carried out five years ago, the number of people perceiving the events positively dropped by 6 percent, the SITA newswire reported.

Regarding the other historical events, Slovaks feel more positive about the Slovak National Uprising (61 percent), the establishment of independent Slovakia (58 percent) and first Czechoslovak Republic (53 percent). In the Czech Republic, only 47 percent of respondents consider the establishment of their independent state positively.

The survey showed that in nearly all aspects Slovak respondents were more critical than the Czech ones, sociologist Oľga Gyarfášová of IVO said.

Up to 66 percent of Czechs said the change of the system in 1989 was worth it, compared to 58 percent of Slovaks, sociologist Zora Bútorová said. The satisfaction with the changes increases with the education. The students in both countries are the group which praises the November ‘89 events the most. They are followed by people who have job. Conversely, pensioners and unemployed are the most frustrated groups, Bútorová said, as reported by SITA.

While the generation between 18 and 44 years of age endorses the changes the most, the support decreases with age. In the group of people older than 65 only 38 percent of Slovak respondents support the events.

Respondents also evaluated life before and after 1989. They praised mostly the possibility to study, travel and work abroad, as well as the free access to information, access to education, the possibility to express one’s opinion and the possibility to attend public affairs. On the other hand, they do not perceive the situation in the area of security and criminal rate, social securities, job opportunities and health care well, SITA wrote.

According to respondents, the “winners” of the revolution were entrepreneurs, dissidents, believers, young people and intelligentsia. It however harmed old people and farmers.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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