Terrorism, migration, weakening of Christian values top concerns for Czechs in 2018

Illustrative photo: Vania dos Santos, Pixabay / CC0

The arrival of the new year following the end of celebrations is a period of hope but also apprehension over possible worsening conditions and the unexpected. A poll commissioned by Czech Radio conducted by the Median Agency suggests that while a minority of Czechs are cautiously optimistic, many worry about having enough money, about migration and about the possibility of a terrorist attack.

Illustrative photo: Vania dos Santos,  Pixabay / CC0
When it comes to fears, a majority of Czechs, a new poll suggests, worry most about terrorism or the impact of wars abroad. Sixty-eight percent of respondents marked attacks in Europe by the terrorist organisation Islamic State as the number one threat, with an additional 25 percent characterising the danger as relatively serious. Second on the list were fears over the impact of wars in Syria, Africa and Asia, and third was the escalation of conflicts between Russia and Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine, the Baltic States and Georgia.

The president himself again recently brought up the issue of terrorism in his holiday address.

“If we are talking about NATO, I think the alliance should be far more active in the fight against Islamic terrorism.”

Sociologist and head of the Median Agency Přemysl Čech says it is no surprise that terrorist attacks remain a top concern for Czechs.

“Fear of terrorism will have been fuelled by attacks that hit Europe last year as well as the media attention they received. After that, the poll revealed worries over the lessening of European and Christian values due to migration, people are also concerned about tax fraud and that there will not be enough money in the state coffers.”

Miloš Zeman,  photo: Filip Jandourek
According to the poll, some 44 percent of Czechs expressed confidence that this year would be better than the last but every sixth respondent out of the 1,000 or so questioned see 2018 as likely to be worse. Sociologist Přemysl Čech told Czech Radio that age played a significant role in how optimistic people were.

“Up to the age of 45 most people believe that this year will be better than 2017. But those over the age of 60, only one quarter of people expect positive changes. So older people are generally more pessimistic.”

The survey was conducted by Median on December 14 and 15 2017 and some one thousand people took part. All of those who took part were 18 and over.