According to a recent survey carried out by the Centre for research into ethnicity and culture (CVEK) in conjunction with the Open Society Foundation, as many as 75.5% of Slovaks agree with certain principles and ideas of extremist right-wing groups.
Possibly more worrying is that the survey cites 8.3% of the Slovak population as pretty much inclined towards the ideology of right-wing extremism. Only about a quarter of those asked opposed extremism, according to an article in SME daily today.
Almost half the population (over 45%) are against the spread of right-wing extremism, though, saying they would ban meetings of extremists. The support shown by Slovaks for extremist ideas mostly concerns the Roma minority ethnic group, where it seems the majority of Slovaks have no problem with Roma being discriminated against, regardless of their human rights.
Overall, the study claims that Slovaks perceive the country as ethnocentric, despite almost twenty percent of the population coming from other ethnic or national groups, namely the Roma and Hungarian-Slovaks in the south.
The sentiments expressed about foreigners in September 2011 by then interior minister Daniel Lipsic are reiterated in the study also in respect of minorities, meaning foreigners and minorities should fully embrace Slovak culture and only practice or express their own identity behind closed doors, as public space is “intended for the majority”.
Considering all the recent cases of Roma families being made homeless as their shanty dwellings were forcibly razed to the ground, it is hardly surprising, but highly worrying, that around one third of Slovaks feel that if the state can’t ensure order, then people should take things into their own hands, even by the use of force.
Although the data used in the study came from a survey of just over 1,000 respondents of the Focus agency from January 2011 and other information collated by CVEK as part of focus groups, the outputs can probably be taken as giving a true reflection of the opinions of Slovaks in these issues.
I agree with you NY if expressing traditions is extremists the The Highland Games in Scotland or the Morris Dancers in England are extremists and should be outlawed.
@ME I appreciate your point of view, but I am a bit confused. How expressing traditions could be seen as extremists? ( “Slovaks express their majority traditions and culture out loud, they are signed as an extremists”)
Expressing you culture and traditions out loud is a good thing and should be encouraged. A peoples past should be preserved and celebrated.
Having said that, take a close look at the picture above and sure JB has more in his library that illustrate what I an about to point out.
The photo shows a number of men in what can only be described as a uniform (ie all the same) Black shirts, dark glasses, closely cropped hair and military style boots. These have non of the trappings of anything remotely traditional in this country. This attire is internationally recognised as the preferred apparel of the followers of the Neo-Nazi – white supremisist movement. The banner proudly displaying the Arms of Slovakia also has a symbol that clearly indicates their desire to outlaw an individuals sexual preferences – this is not a traditional Sk value.
Please don’t confuse maintaining traditions and protecting your culture with anything these people represent. Like those who have gone before Franco, Hitler, Musollini, they appeal to the populations National pride and use this as a vehicle to peddle their policies of discrimination against anyone who doesn’t fit their idiological model. Rewind to the 20s and 30s, all over Europe, these groups established themselves and gained popularity by claiming to be defending National values whilst blaming minority groups, different religions and races for the problems in the country. In those countries where their dogma was accepted, the population found out too late what the reality of those regimes meant.
By all means protect ALL of your culture and heritage but do not be lured by the rhetoric of any extremists – racial, political or religious.
This article makes very sad reading.
The quoted stats are a bit confusing : ” 75.5% of Slovaks agree with certain principles and ideas of extremist right-wing groups “, followed by : ” 8.3% of the Slovak population as pretty much inclined towards the ideology of right-wing extremism ” and then : ” half the population (over 45%) are against the spread of right-wing extremism “. How can 75% agree with and 45% be against right-wing extremism ? Doesn’t add up.
It is to do with the specific questions posed in the survey, as the 75.5% means they agree with something i.e. “certain principles”, while 45% were against the ideology being spread. Basically a lot of people agree with something, while half disagree with encouraging extremism overall. Hop[e that helps.
@NY Well, on the other hand if Slovaks express their majority traditions and culture out loud, they are signed as an extremists, so it is natural that they do not want to allow any of those expressions to minorities, cause they are affraid of issues of being discriminised as minorities “are” …. Discrimination is wrong indeed, but nobody ever mentioned positive discrimination and compared the influences….
Does not suprises me, but is good to see that there is documentation about it. Maybe then Slovaks will realise discrimination is essentially wrong.