As many as 77 percent of Poles believe that their state should support people in solidarity who are fleeing their homelands before war or persecution. This emerges from a survey by Kantar for the Polish office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported today by Rzeczpospolita. According to the daily, the former fear subsided within a few years and the people of Poland stopped being afraid of refugees.
“There has been a certain calming of emotions and a return to normalcy,” commented political scientist Slawomir Sowiński of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, a university in Warsaw. “Refugees have ceased to be a political issue, many of them are already living with us and we have simply stopped being afraid,” he added.
The poll also showed that, according to 62 percent of respondents, Poland should open its borders to refugees. As a reason for agreeing to accept refugees, they state that their compatriots would also like to be treated well in a similar situation, writes Rzeczpospolita.
Previous Polish opinion polls were much less friendly to refugees. While in June 2018, 53 percent of IBRiS survey participants disagreed with the reception of refugees, a year earlier, more than 60 percent of respondents in Poland did not want refugees, the PAP agency noted.
The current survey also found that 62 percent of its participants disagreed with the view that refugees would take their jobs. On the contrary, according to 63 percent of respondents, they can strengthen the country’s workforce, which can be useful in an aging society.
According to Sowiński, the media and politicians have signed public opinion in Poland in recent years. “Poles are generally very sensitive. If we look at surveys before 2015, we will see that at that time we also presented an attitude of openness. “He was heading for power, making it one of the main themes of the election campaign. All of this caused great fear,” Sowiński said.
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