According to a recent poll conducted by the Focus Agency, about half of all Slovaks have a negative opinion of foreigners coming to the country, reports TASR newswire yesterday.
The poll showed that the wary Slovaks suffer from three main false assumptions about foreigners, believing they take away jobs, carry dangerous foreign diseases and also contribute to increasing the crime rate. These misconceptions are false in reality, though, says Zuzana Vatralova from the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM).
Vatralova points out how there have been no cases of epidemics brought in by foreigners and there are no data suggesting that foreigners increase the crime rate, either. Considering foreign immigrants make up just over 1% of the population, they would have to be pretty active to increase the crime rate.
At least the other half of the country are swayed more to believing that foreigners are, in fact, an asset for the country. Vatralova puts the fears down also to the fact that one third of all foreigners live in the Bratislava region and so most Slovaks have very little contact with foreign nationals, if at all.