It's hard to be disappointed. You know you expected this all along

Low expectations excuse the Slovak government’s total lack of preparedness for this latest, completely predictable Covid wave.

Health Minister Vladimir LengvarskyHealth Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky (Source: TASR)

After some 15 years writing about Central and Eastern Europe, I have concluded that there is one — and only one — major political difference between this region and places like Western Europe and the United States. It’s not corruption, or experience with democracy, or wealth, or the sophistication of the population. It’s expectations.

Central and Eastern Europeans have low expectations for government. This leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby low expectations lead to poor results, which then reinforce low expectations. People everywhere distrust politicians, but Central and Eastern Europeans are unique in that they also demand very little.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

News digest: Ministry comes up with a plan to ease measures

Coalition to discuss longer lockdown. Slovakia lags behind in administering booster shots. Nearly half of Slovaks perceive the tax and levy reform negatively.

1 h
Igor Matovic

PM’s calls for “respect” are ignored by his own colleagues

Finance minister proposes massive handout without consulting PM.

5 h
Car poduction in Kia Slovakai in Teplička Nad Váhom

Automotive industry faces the biggest transformation in its history

Slovakia remains the world’s biggest car manufacturer per 1000 inhabitants.

9 h
Skryť Close ad