Antipathy towards foreigners falls in Czech Republic, Arabs and Roma still the least liked
A survey by the Public Opinion Research Center (CVVM) reports that of the non-Czech nations living in the Czech Republic, Czech respondents like Slovaks the most. Sympathy for Chinese and Vietnamese people has also grown during the last year.
Lack of sympathy is expressed most strongly for Arabs and for Romani people, but the degree of antipathy for members of both those ethnicities has also weakened during the last year. With the exception of Arabs and Vietnamese people, however, the degree of lack of sympathy or sympathy for other national groups has not much changed over time.
Four-fifths of respondents said they like Slovaks, with just one per cent of respondents perceiving them negatively. That group is followed by Poles, towards whom half of all respondents were positively inclined.
Sympathy predominates over lack of sympathy for another six minority groups. Greeks are liked by 38 % of respondents, Jewish people by 30 %, Vietnamese by 37 %, Germans by 34 %, Hungarians by 30 % and Bulgarians by 25 %.
Sympathy for Vietnamese people has now risen to its highest-ever level since CVVM first began reporting on that category in 2013. For four nationalities the trend is toward antipathy, but the biggest share of all responses to them is comprised of neutral assessments.
Chinese people, Russians, Serbs and Ukrainians are all mostly assessed neutrally. One-fourth of respondents like Russians, 22 % like Serbs, while 21 % like Chinese people and Ukrainians.
Public perception of Chinese people has improved over the last year. Dislike predominates in assessments of Albanians, Arabs, Roma and Rumanians.
Arabs and Roma fared worst in the assessments, with 73 % of respondents expressing dislike of them. Extreme dislike of Arabs grew in 2015 and 2016.
Last year that growth stopped. This year Arabs were greatly disliked by 37 % of respondents compared to 41 % last year.
Respondents' attitudes toward Arabs are influenced by their living standards, according to CVVM. Half of all respondents from impoverished living conditions greatly dislike Arabs, while 34 % of people with high living standards dislike them.
A similar outcome is reported for opinions about Romani people. There is a significant difference, according to CVVM, in opinions about Arabs depending on whether respondents voted for Czech President Zeman or not: 45 % of Zeman supporters said they "greatly dislike" Arabs, compared to 32 % of voters who cast their ballots against him.
From that perspective there were also differences in sympathies for Russians, which were expressed more by Zeman voters (35 %) than by those who voted for his opponent (18 %). CVVM also asks about respondents' attitudes toward Czech people.
One per cent of respondents express dislike for Czechs, while 86 % of respondents view them positively. One per cent had no opinion and 12 % were neutral.
The survey involved CVVM contacting 1 061 people aged 15 and older between 3 and 15 March 2018. According to recent information from the Czech Statistical Bureau, there were 493 400 foreign nationals living in the Czech Republic as of the close 2016, the highest number since the country became independent in 1993.
The biggest groups of foreign nationals are Ukrainians (almost 110 000), followed by Slovaks (107 251) and Vietnamese (58 025). The most numerous national minority in the Czech Republic is that of the Roma, who according to estimates provided by regional Roma coordinators in the Czech Republic number 245 800 and comprise almost 2.3 % of the Czech Republic's population.
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