Poles among European nations most resistant to refugee influx
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland and Hungary are the two nations in Europe most resistant to EU-bound refugees fleeing poverty and armed conflict in North Africa and the Middle East, PEW Research has reported.
Migrants rest in a tent at a reception centre in Subotica, northern Serbia, some 10 kilometers from the Hungarian border, on 11 July 2016.Photo: PAP/EPA.
Respondents in the two countries are mostly concerned about the possible impact of immigration on the domestic labour markets (75 percent in Poland, 82 percent in Hungary), followed by fears of a terrorist threat (71 percent of Poles, 76 percent of Hungarians).
The authors of the study, meanwhile, point out that it is these two countries that have the most restrictive policies on accepting refugees in Europe.
Fears concerning the influx of refugees fall in line with sentiments prevailing in Europe, the poll shows.
The study takes in ten countries, which account for 80 percent of Europe’s population.
The research finds that in eight out of the ten surveyed countries, opponents to taking in refugees comprise the majority of the population. France and Spain are the only nations where the number of those in favour of welcoming asylum-seekers is higher than of those against.
The authors of the report also note a rise in anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe. Poland is among three nations, alongside Italy and Hungary, where Islamophobia is strongest. Sixty-six percent of Poles harbour negative attitudes towards Muslims, in Hungary – 72 percent, and in Italy – 69 percent.
Poland has one of the smallest Muslim populations in Europe, with current estimates between 20,000 and 40,000. Foreigners overall comprise less than one percent of the entire population in the country, totaling 38 million.
According to the EU’s external border agency, Frontex, some 1.5 million refugees arrived in Europe last year.
In mid-June, Rafał Kostrzyński, spokesman for the Central European branch of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that a little over 200 Syrians entered Poland since January. (aba)