One of Slovakia’s most deprived regions is a microcosm of discontent, fueling right-wing populism in the hinterlands of Central Europe.

By Dariusz Kalan

Some days, Adrian Lachata ponders how life would have turned out if he had never left Svidnik.

The 32-year-old engineer would not have graduated from the most prestigious technical faculty in the Czech Republic, where he has lived for the past 11 years since moving from the industrial town in Slovakia’s northeast where he grew up.

Nor would he have met legendary Czech mathematician, Zdenek Hedrlin, the subject of a book he is writing.

Most importantly, Lachata says he would not have expanded his horizons beyond the bitter resentments that make Svidnik a hotbed of populist discontent.