Budapest (MTI) – Two fifth of Hungarians expressed xenophobic sentiments towards foreigners in a survey conducted in July by pollster Tarki.
Fully 39 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that no asylum-seeker should be allowed to enter Hungary at all.
The majority, 56 percent, said they would hear arguments on whether or not asylum should be granted to an applicant, while 5 percent said all asylum-seekers should be taken in.
Tarki has regularly conducted surveys on xenophobia since 1992. The surveys showed a rapid rise in xenophobic sentiments during the first four years of polling (1992-1995), which then fluctuated until 2001 and remained stable between 2002 and 2011. Tarki reported an increase in xenophobic views in 2012, which then stayed high over the following two years.
Xenophobic attitudes rose to a record high in the April survey this year, with 46 percent of respondents saying they would bar asylum-seekers from entering the country, while the most recent survey sees xenophobia declining to 2014 levels despite the media’s constant focus on Europe’s migration crisis and the government-sponsored questionnaire on the issue.
The highest rejection rate was against Arabs, at 76 percent, with 53 percent of respondents saying they would even bar the non-existent Piresian people from entering Hungary.
The rate of xenophobia was higher than average among respondents living in areas most burdened by the presence of migrants, Tarki said. Xenophobic views were also higher than average among Jobbik voters and low earners.
Xenophobia was lowest among respondents from areas where the chances of meeting migrants are significantly lower, the highest-educated groups, churchgoers and those looking to emigrate from Hungary.