Attitudes towards Ukrainian refugees have changed – poll
The number of Czechs supporting the government’s decision to accept Ukrainian refugees has dropped from 70% in early April to 58% in mid-June, according to data released by Czech pollster STEM. The number of refugees staying in the country grew from 200,000 to 300,000 over the same period.
Many Ukrainians fled abroad after Russia launched a military campaign in late February.
Out of those polled in April, 53% said they were ready to both help Ukrainians and cope with a decrease in their own living standards for a “necessary period of time.” That fell to 40% in mid-June.
“The importance of the war in Ukraine in the social debate is declining, and the urgency of issues related to migration and longstanding unresolved problems of the Czech Republic (which the war often highlights) is growing,” STEM wrote in its report.
The company noted that concerns over rising prices, migration, and “significant uncertainty about the future” are prevalent in public sentiment.
Last month, the Senate, the upper house of the Czech parliament, tightened the rules for Ukrainian refugees accessing free housing and welfare payments. The move was aimed at combating what the Czech media dubbed ‘benefit tourism’.