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Around half of Slovaks hold negative views of foreigners, survey finds

The three most widespread misconceptions concerning immigrants in Slovakia is that foreigners are taking jobs away from Slovaks, spreading dangerous diseases and increasing the crime rate, according to a recent survey carried out by the Focus polling agency, the TASR newswire reported.

The three most widespread misconceptions concerning immigrants in Slovakia is that foreigners are taking jobs away from Slovaks, spreading dangerous diseases and increasing the crime rate, according to a recent survey carried out by the Focus polling agency, the TASR newswire reported.

Zuzana Vatralova from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that all these stereotypes are false. "Never in Slovak history have foreigners triggered an epidemic of some imported disease, and never has it been statistically proven that foreigners are more to blame for crime than Slovaks," she said.

Nevertheless, around half of the respondents in the poll believed that the three main misconceptions were true. "At the same time, every other Slovak believes that foreigners are an asset for Slovakia," said Vatralova, noting that Slovaks are split down the middle on this issue.

Fear of foreigners in Slovakia may stem from the comparatively low number of immigrants in the country, as they account for only slightly more than 1 percent of the total population and one-third of them live in Bratislava Region. "Ordinary Slovak citizens come across foreigners only rarely," said Vatralova.

Source: TASR

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