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Opinion poll: Relations with Roma still poor

Prague, 12.5.2010 17:48, (ROMEA)

In a recent poll, the vast majority of people in the Czech Republic continue to perceive the co-existence of Roma and non-Roma as problematic. Relations with the Roma minority were rated “poor” by 82 % of respondents, of whom 33 % rated relations as “very poor”. Only 13 % of Czechs rated relations with the Roma as “good”. The research, conducted during April by the Center for Public Opinion Research, (Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění - CVVM) was released today.

Compared to last year, when respondents rated relations with the Roma as the worst since 2007, the result has slightly improved, but only within the margin of error. Analysts clarified that it remains one of the worst levels recorded since 2007. Last year co-existence with the Roma was rated as critical by 85 % of respondents, while 10 % rated relations as positive.

CVVM says the ratings have been worsening steadily since 2006. At that time, 69 % of Czechs evaluated co-existence between the Roma minority and non-Roma negatively, with 22 % evaluating it as positive.

At the start of May the STEM agency published research confirming that the relationship of the Czech population to the Roma minority remains negative. This poll found that 67 % of citizens reject the Roma, 5 % have a good relationship with them, 20 % have neither a negative nor a positive view of them, and 8 % are unsympathetic to them. STEM reported that during the past year the number of people with a neutral or positive relationship toward the Roma had risen.

The CVVM research reported that people are also aware that the Roma are worse off than non-Roma in many areas. As far as employment is concerned, 61 % of respondents said members of the Roma minority are worse off. Two-fifths of respondents also believe the Roma have fewer opportunities to be of use in civil and public life. In the other areas of the CVVM research, the number of respondents who believe the Roma population has fewer opportunities was the same as the number who believe the Roma population enjoys the same or even better opportunities than non-Roma.

One-third of respondents stated that the Roma are worse off when it comes to earning qualifications. One-quarter of respondents said it is harder for the Roma to access education and housing. However, as far as housing is concerned, more than two-fifths of respondents also believe the Roma enjoy better conditions than the majority population.

According to 38 % of respondents, the government is addressing the Roma minority issue satisfactorily, but half of the respondents believe otherwise. Compared to last year, that rating has significantly improved, with the number of positive responses having increased by 13 percentage points.

People also rated municipal handling of the issue of Roma more positively; 41 % of respondents say municipalities are proceeding satisfactorily, while 27 % are dissatisfied. Here the number of positive responses rose by 8 percentage points compared to last year.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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