Prague, April 15 (CTK) – The proportion of Czechs ready to let ethnic groups live according to their own traditions in the country decreased by almost one-half to 25 percent, according to a poll conducted by the STEM polling agency in March and released on Friday.

A mere one-quarter of Czechs would grant citizenship to foreigners irrespective of their origin and three-quarters of them consider foreigners a security risk.

In 2014, 46 percent said each ethnic group and minority in the Czech Republic should be allowed to live according to its own traditions and habits.

One-third would grant citizenship to anyone irrespective of ethnic origin.

However, this was followed by the refugee influx from the Middle East to Europe, after which the proportion of Czechs with a positive approach to foreigners plummeted to the current 25 percent.

At the same time, the fear of foreigners was growing in the past two years. In 2014, foreigners staying in the Czech Republic were considered a too big security risk by 60 percent of Czechs, now the figure rose to the 71 percent.

“The connection with the refugee crisis is evident,” STEM pollsters said.

The views of the foreigners are very similar in all groups of society, irrespective of their age, education and political affiliation.

Czechs are also aware of the growing prejudices towards foreigners in society.

Two years ago, a slight majority of Czechs or 52 percent, were of the view that the public treated foreigners living in the Czech Republic without any prejudices and bias. This year, the positive answer was only given by 41 percent of the respondents.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,050 Czechs over 18 between March 16 and 23.