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.