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YEREVAN, OCTOBER 25, ARMENPRESS: A local non-governmental organization unveiled today findings of a survey it conducted with the support of Partnership for Open Society among 1,039 Armenian youths aged 16-25 to find what they though about what is termed ‘European values,’ and Armenia’s drive towards forging close relationships with Europe.

Nelson Shahnazarian who coordinated the group of pollsters, told a news conference that the survey revealed that young men and women in Armenia’s provinces have a better idea of what democracy is, are more torrent and more optimistic about their country’s future than their peers in the capital city who proved more conservative. According to the survey, 35.2 percent of respondents look at democracy as an effective governance system while 51 percent regard it as illusion and the others were undecided.

Karen Bekarian, head of another non-governmental organization, argued these figures should raise concern of the authorities who declared European drift as their foreign policy priority. The survey also revealed that 56, 70 and 43 percents of respondents respectively showed tolerance to national, gender and religious divergences, while only 18.5 percent were tolerant to sexual minorities.

It also revealed that 43.1 percent of respondents are likely to ignore laws, those who would obey were 47.5 percent. Only 14 percent said they had trust in top government officials, and the majority-95 percent, trust their family members and friends (66 percent). Another 70.5 percent believe that Armenian culture is unique and only 7 percent said it and Armenians’ way of thinking have commonalities with European culture. But despite these contradicting findings, 72.7 percent are for Armenia’s joining the European Union.

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