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Czech poll: Roma least-liked, Russians lose favor

Prague, 10.4.2014 16:26, (ROMEA)

A survey taken in March by the Center for Public Opinion Research (Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění - CVVM) in the Czech Republic has found that Czechs still prefer Slovaks (as in previous years) and still like Romani people the least, while their view of Russians has worsened. The Roma were described as "unlikeable" by almost four-fifths of respondents. 

CVVM reports that compared to last year the results have not changed dramatically, but the survey did find that Russians are the only group whose reputation has worsened in the eyes of the Czech public, although not significantly. The authors do not speculate as to the reasons for the change. 

It is unclear whether the decline is somehow connected to events in Crimea. At the time the survey was conducted, events were culminating there that led to Russia annexing the peninsula, which had been part of Ukraine since 1954.

Of the national minorities living in the Czech Republic, the survey found that Czechs dislike Romani people the most and have for years; this March a total of 79 % of respondents found Romani people "unlikeable" or "very unlikeable". "Almost half (47 %) chose the response 'very unlikeable', while sympathy for Romani people was expressed by only 4 % of respondents," CVVM said in a press release which the Czech News Agency has seen.

The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) stated in a declaration on the occasion of International Romani Day on Tuesday that Romani people in Europe continue to face discrimination and violent attacks due to the dilatory attitude of Brussels and the EU Member States toward them. AI criticized mainly the Czech Republic, Greece and France, where allegedly police approach attacks on Romani people with a forgiving attitude for the attackers.

CVVM reports that more people in the Czech Republic are evidently harboring dislike for Romani people than for Albanians and Arabs, the other two national groups for which the combined responses of "unlikeable" and "very unlikeable" exceeded 50 %. A total of 51 % of respondents feel that way about Albanians and 60 % feel that way about Arabs.

As for Russians, 19 % of respondents consider them "likeable", 39 % "unlikeable", and most of the other respondents said they were neither. CVVM offered respondents a five-point scale of possible responses, with one point meaning "very likeable" and five points meaning "very unlikeable".

The authors of the survey then calculated the final "grade" for each group - Romani people got an average of 4.21, which was better than last year, when it was 4.24. Russians got a 3.11 last year and a 3.27 this year.

"The deterioration [in comparison to 2013] was noted in just one case, that of Russians, where the average value of points awarded rose by 0.16," CVVM reported. Nothing has changed about the fact that, besides themselves, Czechs prefer Slovaks the most. 

A total of 86 % of respondents said Slovaks were "likeable". "Poles come in a distant second, with more than half of the public (54 %) saying they like them and a little more than one-tenth (11 %) expressing dislike; then there are the Greeks (43 % like / 11 % dislike); Jewish people (38 % like / 12 % dislike); the Hungarians (32 % like / 16 % dislike), the Germans (38 % like / 24 % dislike) and the Bulgarians (28 % like / 18 % dislike)," CVVM reports. 

The survey was conducted between 3 and 10 March. Roughly 1 000 people aged 15 and older participated.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Menšiny, Romové, Soužití, společenská atmosféra


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