Today, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 57 percent, or an absolute majority, of eastern Germans defend the former East Germany. "The GDR had more good sides than bad sides. There were some problems, but life was good there," say 49 percent of those polled. Eight percent of eastern Germans flatly oppose all criticism of their former home and agree with the statement: "The GDR had, for the most part, good sides. Life there was happier and better than in reunified Germany today."
A remarkable 72% of Hungarians say that most people in their country are actually worse off today economically than they were under communism. Only 8% say most people in Hungary are better off, and 16% say things are about the same. In no other Central or Eastern European country surveyed did so many believe that economic life is worse now than during the communist era. This is the result of almost universal displeasure with the economy. Fully 94% describe the country's economy as bad, the highest level of economic discontent in the hard hit region of Central and Eastern Europe. Just 46% of Hungarians approve of their country's switch from a state-controlled economy to a market economy; 42% disapprove of the move away from communism. The public is even more negative toward Hungary's integration into Europe; 71% say their country has been weakened by the process.
The most incredible result was registered in a July 2010 IRES (Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy) poll, according to which 41% of the respondents would have voted for Ceausescu, had he run for the position of president. And 63% of the survey participants said their life was better during communism, while only 23% attested that their life was worse then. Some 68% declared that communism was a good idea, just one that had been poorly applied.
Roughly 28 percent of Czechs say they were better off under the Communist regime, according to a poll conducted by the polling institute SC&C and released Sunday.
Only 23 percent said they had a better life now.
More goods in shops, open borders and better cultural offer are considered the biggest successes of the system that was installed after 1989.
On the other hand, the voucher privatisation, the worsening of human relations and work of the civil service are its biggest flaws, most Czechs said.
A poll shows that as many as 81 per cent of Serbians believe they lived best in the former Yugoslavia -"during the time of socialism".
The survey focused on the respondents' views on the transition "from socialism to capitalism", and a clear majority said they trusted social institutions the most during the rule of Yugoslav communist president Josip Broz Tito.
The standard of living during Tito's rule from the Second World War to the 1980s was also assessed as best, whereas the Milosevic decade of the 1990s, and the subsequent decade since the fall of his regime are seen as "more or less the same".
45 percent said they trusted social institutions most under communism with 23 percent chosing the 2001-2003 period when Zoran Djinđic was prime minister. Only 19 per cent selected present-day institutions.
The majority of Russians polled in a 2016 study said they would prefer living under the old Soviet Union and would like to see the socialist system and the Soviet state restored.
Reflecting back on the breakup of the Soviet Union that happened 22 years ago next week, residents in seven out of 11 countries that were part of the union are more likely to believe its collapse harmed their countries than benefited them. Only Azerbaijanis, Kazakhstanis, and Turkmens are more likely to see benefit than harm from the breakup. Georgians are divided.
Ukraine, Lithuania and Bulgaria
The poll showed 30 percent of Ukrainians approved of the change to democracy in 2009, down from 72 percent in 1991. In Bulgaria and Lithuania the slide was to just over half the population from nearer three-quarters in 1991.
People in the former Yugoslav countries, scarred by the ethnic wars from the 1990s and still outside the EU, are nostalgic for the socialist era of Josip Broz Tito when, unlike now, they traveled across Europe without visa.
“Everything was better then. There was no street crime, jobs were safe and salaries were enough for decent living,” said Belgrade pensioner Koviljka Markovic, 70. “Today I can hardly survive with my pension of 250 euros ($370 a month).”
Bulgaria (seen as a golden era)
In Bulgaria, the 33-year rule of the late dictator Todor Zhivkov begins to seem a golden era to some in comparison with the raging corruption and crime that followed his demise.
Over 60 percent say they lived better in the past, even though shopping queues were routine, social connections were the only way to obtain more valuable goods, jeans and Coca Cola were off-limits and it took up to 10 years’ waiting to buy a car.
“For part of the Bulgarians (social) security turned out to be more precious than freedom,” wrote historians Andrei Pantev and Bozhidar Gavrilov in a book on the 100 most influential people in the Balkan country’s history.