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Poll finds 10 % of Czech Republic "loathes" Roma people

Prague, 6.5.2011 18:53, (ROMEA)

The STEM polling agency has released the results of its latest research to the Czech Press Agency today. According to the latest poll, roughly two-thirds of people living in the Czech Republic are averse to Roma people, with 10 % expressing "loathing" for members of the minority. Only one in 25 people in the country said their relationship with Roma people is "good" or "very good".

These opinions have basically not changed in recent years. Almost three-fifths of the country believes ethnic minorities should not have the opportunity to live according to their own observances and traditions. The poll was conducted at the end of March and start of April and included 1 300 respondents aged 18 and older.

Only 8 % of respondents said they were "indifferent" to Roma people. One person in 100 claimed to have an explicitly "very good" relationship with the Roma minority, while 27 % are "unequivocally averse" to them and another 31 % are "moderately averse". One-fifth of respondents view Roma people the same as any other minority. "This year's results are not especially different with respect to the long-term trend and are almost identical with last year's," the STEM agency reported.

STEM had previously found that the negative attitude toward Roma people had softened in the aftermath of an attack committed against a Roma family in Vítkov. The authors of the research say that the more educated the respondent, the more likely he or she will view Roma the same as any other minority. While 15 % of people with only an elementary education view Roma people the same as any other ethnic minority, 30 % of college graduates view them that way.

The vast majority of respondents disagree with the opinion that more attention should be paid to the rights of Roma people in the Czech Republic. Only 16 % of respondents agreed with that opinion. Last year almost 25 % of respondents agreed with that statement. People who tend toward the right wing politically are more likely to agree that the rights of Roma people need more attention.

A total of 57 % disagreed with the opinion that every ethnic group or minority should have the chance to live according to its own observances and traditions. Of those, 17 % were "definitely against". The numbers of those opposed to this idea are growing. In 1994, almost two-thirds of those polled recognized that minorities have the right to live according to their own traditions. Now only 43 % recognize that right. Only 9 % "definitely" espouse the opportunity for minorities to live according to their own practices.

"Over time the opinion profiles have almost equally distributed themselves into two opposing beliefs on this issue. This year's result indicates a further decline in agreement with this right, but we cannot say that disagreement with this right is clearly predominant," STEM reports.

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