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Poll: Czechs readier to accept foreign workers than ever

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Prague, May 23 (CTK) – The proportion of the Czechs ready to accept working foreigners as they may be the only solution to the problem of the shortage of manpower rose to 55 percent over the past two years, according to a poll conducted by the STEM agency and released on Wednesday.

Before 2016, this view was only held by two-fifths of Czechs.

The proportion of those believing that foreigners deprive Czechs of work has been correspondingly falling.

However, there is still the predominant view that too many foreigners work in the Czech Republic.

This year, the view was expressed by 63 percent, while it was the record 80 percent in 2015.

In 2015, 72 percent of Czechs shared the view that foreigners deprive Czechs of work, but the figure declined to 49 percent by this year.

“In the long run, different attitudes than in the past seem to be prevailing in the assessment of the position of foreigners on the Czech labour market,” STEM analysts said.

“The current situation on the Czech labour market with a very low jobless rate and the state of the Czech economy in general certainly play a role,” they added.

It is of major importance that the weakening reluctance to accept foreign workers can be observed in all groups of attained education.

“This suggests that this is a general transformation, not only any affair typical of a part of society,” the analysts said.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,046 Czechs over 18 between April 19 and 29.

In April, the national jobless rate was 3.2 percent, while it stood at 6.1 percent in March 2016.

According to the data of the Czech Statistical Office, in 2016, there were 493,400 foreigners in the Czech Republic, the highest number since 1993. Most of them were Ukrainians, followed by Slovaks and Vietnamese.

They mostly come to the Czech Republic for economic reasons. Ukrainians earn on average 21,300 crowns a month here, while in Ukraine, the average salary is the equivalent of 5,000 to 6,000 crowns.

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