Poll indicates Hungary's high society most likely to reject Roma

2011-05-11 07:47

Anti-Roma sentiments are most frequently found with elderly, highly educated and prosperous city-dwellers, according to a survey conducted by the social studies faculty of Budapest's ELTE university, published on Tuesday.


The survey results contradict the generally held belief that rejection of the Roma is the strongest in small villages, where Roma and non-Roma live side by side.


Social policy expert Katalin Tausz told reporters that the survey, made on a representative sample of 1,000 adults, gave a clear indication of the divisions within society.


A separate survey of 500 people was made in villages of the poorest parts of the country, which found that while the educated and well-off in cities may have anti-Roma feelings, the least educated and poorest in small villages reject gay people in the first place. Two-thirds of the respondents would not accept homosexuals as a family member or a friend, while 50 percent would not want to see them living next door.


Responses to questions about anxieties reveal that one-fifth of society are afraid of the Roma, and one-tenth are concerned about the radical nationalist Hungarian Guard and Arab immigrants. Seven percent are afraid of the political parties and the police, and six percent of the government and law courts. Some respondents indicated they were afraid of the fictitious Piresian people.


Anxiety is linked to income; the more people make, the more they feel they have something to be worried about, Tausz pointed out.


Three quarters of the respondents have witnessed discrimination, mostly based on age, ethnicity, or poverty, in public places, in offices or at school, Tausz said. She added that a shockingly high 59 percent of the witnesses said they had done nothing in those situations.

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