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Czechs, other Europeans do not regret the fall of Communism, says new poll

But with 43 percent of Czechs having a negative view of the EU, the Czech Republic is only surpassed by the negative attitude of Russians

Washington, Oct 16 (CTK) – Czechs, Slovaks and other inhabitants of the former Eastern Bloc are not entirely content with the current political and economic situation, though only a few regret the fall of the Iron Curtain, a Pew Research Center poll conducted 30 years after the collapse of Communism shows.

The poll approached the inhabitants of 16 countries, including 14 EU member states from both sides of the former Iron Curtain as well as from Russia and Ukraine.

It focused, among other topics, on examining the participants’ opinions on the shift to a multiparty and free market system, as well as their views on the European Union and their future prospects.

The changes of 1989-1991 are seen in a positive light by 82 percent of Czechs and 74 percent of Slovaks.

The least content are the Russians, among which 48 percent would rather stay in the Soviet Union.

A third of Bulgarians and Ukrainians also regret the fall of Communism.

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Only a small number of Czechs trust current politicians, with more than 70 percent saying they do not believe politicians are interested in the people’s opinions.

The same pessimistic view was shared by more than a half of all poll participants. In Sweden and the Netherlands, the situation was different, with over 50 percent of people trusting their elected officials.

Former Eastern Bloc countries’ inhabitants generally agree that membership of the European Union is a good thing.

For example, 84 percent of people in Poland and 70 percent in Slovakia have a positive view of the EU.

With 43 percent of Czechs having a negative view of the EU, the Czech Republic is only surpassed by the negative attitude of Russians.

While most of the polled citizens think the fall of Communism had a positive impact on education and the overall standard of living, more than 53 percent think that there was a decline in the quality of healthcare.

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The East generally thinks that the economic prospects of the next generation will improve, including over 60 percent of Ukrainians, 57 percent of Poles and 51 percent of Czechs.

The attitude of Western European countries is more pessimistic, with only 22 percent of Brits, 25 percent of Spaniards and 16 percent of French thinking the economic prospects of the next generation will improve, the survey shows.

bas/mr/hol

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