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20 July, 2024
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Cyprus among TOP 10 intolerant countries in Europe

Majority against immigration from non-European nations


The University Field Research Centre, PAKEPE, of the University of Cyprus unveiled troubling findings from the 2022 European Social Survey (CSR), indicating prevalent xenophobic sentiments within the island nation.

According to the report released Wednesday, Cyprus ranks among the top 10 most xenophobic countries out of the 31 surveyed.

PAKEPE emphasized the imperative for a national integration plan, underscoring the state's role in addressing migration comprehensively. The survey sheds light on the urgent need for a holistic approach to migrant integration, moving beyond marginalization towards inclusion.

The survey's Cyprus-specific results highlighted stark contrasts in attitudes towards immigration. While 58% of respondents expressed openness towards individuals of the same ethnic background as the majority, sentiments turned overwhelmingly negative for those of different origins or from non-European countries. Notably, 65% disagreed with the immigration of individuals from diverse nationalities, a figure rising to 66% for those from poorer, non-European nations.

"This stark contrast underscores the deep-seated xenophobic attitudes in Cyprus," remarked PAKEPE.

The study revealed a disparity between Cypriot and European attitudes, with Cyprus exhibiting more negative sentiments on average. Geographically, Northern and Western European countries displayed comparatively more positive inclinations towards migration.

Economic and cultural concerns featured prominently among respondents, with 44% citing perceived negative impacts on the economy and 49% expressing apprehensions about cultural implications. A notable 48% believed that Cyprus deteriorates as a place to live with the influx of migrants.

PAKEPE elucidated the nuanced nature of perceived threats, distinguishing between realistic and symbolic concerns. Realistic threats encompassed physical, health, and financial risks, while symbolic threats revolved around conflicts in worldviews, religion, and values.

While the survey noted a deterioration in attitudes towards migration between 2018-2020, particularly attributable to symbolic threats, there was a gradual improvement in overall perceptions over time. This shift, despite xenophobic discourse and media representation, was attributed partly to generational differences, with younger cohorts displaying more favorable attitudes towards migration.

PAKEPE underscored the need for proactive interventions to foster understanding and cooperation between indigenous and migrant populations. A national integration plan, the report emphasized, should encompass societal integration, inclusive education, labor market integration, and fostering interactions between migrant and local communities.

In closing, PAKEPE stressed the imperative of reframing the discourse surrounding migrants, viewing them not as threats but as opportunities for Cyprus' development, echoing sentiments observed across Europe.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  migrants  |  nationality  |  survey  |  people

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