* Public opinion on economic situation and living conditions in the context of Central Europe

For the last few years, comparable public polls dealing with different topics have been carried out in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland within the international cooperation based on CEORG. These countries were occasionally joined by other states from Central, Eastern or South Eastern Europe. These more or less regularly repeated polls include questions asking about the country’s economic situation and household living conditions.

The last research dealing with this issue was performed in summer 2004 and the traditional participants were joined by Slovakia.

At the beginning, respondents were asked to evaluate current economic situation of their country. In this respect, critical opinions generally highly prevail above favourable opinions – see Table 1a to 1d. The lowest contentment was registered in Hungary (40 % “bad” economic situation, but only 4 % “good”) and the highest in Slovakia (70 % “bad”, 2 % “good”). Polish and Czech public opinion was somewhere in between and was quite similar to each other. According to the most recent results, 9 % of Czech citizens find the current economic situation in the Czech Republic good, 53 % bad and 37 % define it as “neither bad, nor good”. In Poland, 7 % of people regard the situation as good, 56 % as bad and 31 % find it neutral.

Evaluation in the Czech Republic hasn’t changed much since January 2004, even though it is slightly better from a statistical point of view. However, in comparison with the period from 2001 to 2002, it appears to be much worse. In the past two years, significant downgrade in the evaluation of economic situation was registered also in Hungary, despite the fact that in the last poll, the Hungarians regarded the situation slightly less critically than at the end of 2003. The Poles, on the contrary, regard the state of their economy substantially more positively than two years ago. Another positive shift was registered since January 2004. In case of Slovakia, the only data available from the past are those from January 2002. In comparison with these results the overall opinion hasn’t changed.

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