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What is life like for poor people in Slovakia?
First of all I think most people who we call “poor” in Slovakia have no idea what does it mean to be really poor (e.g. parts of Africa, Asia…). Anyway, if I compare the situation in Slovakia with different countries I would mention these reasons
1) Bad services generally
Other countries offer better services (accommodation, gastronomy, ..) for foreign visitors, therefore they have significantly higher income and employment related to tourism. People in Thailand / Turkey / Egypt would do everything to please you with smile on their face and they have salary much lower than most of the “poor Slovaks”. We have beautiful nature, great historical sights but it is the rude taxi driver, averse waiter and angry shop manager who scare away tourists. If the services were better, even local people would spend more for travelling within Slovakia and people could earn more on services.
The government is purchasable and majority of big decisions (investments, infrastructure, legal system, education, healthcare, …) is based on individual benefits (bribes) rather than long term profit for Slovak nation. If at least half of the money that is stolen would be used to support small and medium business, the unemployment would drop drastically. People are avoiding to pay taxes, because they have no faith in the politicians. Moreover there is enormous amount of illegal work / sales what makes the official average income statistics inaccurate.
Most of us just complain but we are not able to actively do something. If we have low salary, we are envious that others have more but we are too lazy to work harder. Some of the unemployed rather stay at home and enjoy the unemployment benefits than to work every day for 300-400€ / month. People from rural areas hate Bratislava because of “huge salaries”, however they do not take into account the difference in costs (real estate, transport, food…). People study in Slovakia and then run away to wash dishes in UK with university degree, because the unemployment here is too high and the conditions for entrepreneurs too complicated. Why only a few of those stay and dare to fight with the competition and to create job positions for “the poor” in the rural regions?
4) Lack of nationalism
We lack the respect for our nation. I heard hundreds of my friends talking about moving away from Slovakia, complaining and bad mouthing. When I worked in Spain and talked to people from all around the world, they had one thing in common. They all said that their home country / town / region is the best place on Earth. Why French people used to buy French cars? Why everywhere the regions support the local business. If we buy the cheapest food imported from Poland/China in supermarket rather than more expensive local products, we do not support our economy and our own employment.