Slovaks fear migrants and their culture, survey shows

THE MIGRATION crisis still stokes fears among Slovaks and the majority of them cannot imagine enlargement of the Muslim community in Slovakia.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/TASR)

As much as 61.3 percent of respondents believe that the European Union should shelter first and foremost those migrants who fled their homes because of military conflicts, according to the survey carried out by Trenčín-based Alexander Dubček University’s Department of Political Sciences (TnUAD) between November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016 on a sample of 1,033 respondents.

Moreover, 11 percent of respondents agree with accepting asylum seekers due to religious reasons, 10.2 percent due to political reasons and 6.8 percent due to economic reasons, whereas the rest is either are simply against accepting migrants or undecided, the TASR newswire reported.

“Only 7.6 percent of all respondents think that the migrants might turn out to be a plus for Slovakia,” survey coordinator Marcel Lincényi said, as quoted by TASR. “On the contrary, up to 75.5 percent are worried that the arrival of asylum seekers could herald the rise of the crime rate.”

It was also some politicians who compounded the problems by engaging in negative statements on migrants to pursue their own political ends in the build-up to the March general election, instead of explaining the dynamics of the problem responsibly, Lincényi added.

Slovaks would not want to have asylum seekers for neighbours, the survey showed. As much as 70.6 percent would take objection to have an asylum facility opened in their neighbourhood and 88.2 percent of respondents do not want a mosque erected in their town. 

A total of 76.8 percent of all respondents are convinced that mandatory migration resettlement quotas will not help the EU in tackling the migration crisis, whereas 81.9 percent consider it wrong to have the EU dictate quotas to its member states.

“The most effective solution to the migration crisis is to combat its underlying causes, namely, wars and terror in Syria and Iraq,” Lincényi said, as quoted by TASR. “It was 63.3 percent of respondents who agreed with this statement.”

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