Czech Public Still Has Negative View of Coexistence With Roma, But Positive Trend Continues

The figures are the most positive assessment of relations with the Roma since CVVM’s records began. Photo: President Pavel welcomes talented Roma students To Prague Castle. Credit: Petr Pavel, via Facebook.   

Prague, 7 July (CTK) – Some 63% of Czechs perceive coexistence with the Roma negatively, while almost one-third consider it positively, according to a spring survey by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) released today.

While the negative responses are still in the majority, this is nonetheless the most positive assessment of relations with the Roma since CVVM began surveying public opinion on the issue in 1997. On the contrary, the most negative responses were seen in 2013, when 87% of respondents described coexistence of the Roma and majority population as negative, and only 9% as positive.

According to the analysts, this year’s result confirmed the trend of previous years. Since 2015, negative responses have decreased by 20 percentage points, and by 9 points compared to the last survey in 2019. The authors of the survey believe that the stereotypical view of the Roma population has weakened overall.

“To what extent this significant positive shift is due to the period of COVID, the war in Ukraine with the influx of Ukrainian migrants, the increase in energy and other prices, and other problems that have apparently pushed the Roma issue out of the public’s attention, we cannot determine from our data,” the sociologists said.

Two-fifths of the survey participants consider the government’s management of Roma affairs to be satisfactory, while a similar proportion are dissatisfied with the government’s approach. In this regard, the public has a better opinion of local government, as 41% perceive municipal handling of the Roma positively, while 26% are not satisfied.

Compared to the situation of other groups, half of the public perceives the employment opportunities for Roma as worse. Roughly two-fifths of respondents think that Roma people have worse opportunities when it comes to employment in public and civic life,  while 42% consider the situation of Roma people in this regard to be comparable to others, and one-seventh think Roma people are even better off.

In terms of obtaining housing, 31% of respondents considered the situation of Roma people to be worse, but a slightly higher proportion (35%) of respondents think that Roma people’s opportunities in this regard are better than those of the majority population.

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