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FYROM: Inter-ethnic relations vital for citizens, but unemployment is their biggest concern

08. July 2011. | 12:06

Source: MIA

A large majority of the citizens in Macedonia believe that inter-ethnic relations are important, but they are more concerned by unemployment, poverty, economy, corruption, crime and EU-NATO accession.

A large majority of the citizens in Macedonia believe that inter-ethnic relations are important, but they are more concerned by unemployment, poverty, economy, corruption, crime and EU-NATO accession.

This is shown by results of a survey conducted by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC), i.e. the report on multi-ethnic relations and their quality. The survey was carried out with a field opinion poll in households in May at a national representative sample of 2.087 respondents and an on-line poll with unrepresentative sample of 24 public/informed figures in Macedonia.

MCIC has conducted an in-depth study of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. This is the fourth part of the research in inter-ethnic relations a decade after the war conflict.

"Ten years following the conflict, an insignificant minority perceives the relations as being hostile. The citizens oftentimes assess inter-ethnic ties with abstinence (33.2%), according to 18.4% they are gripped by rivalry, for 17.7% they represent a peaceful coexistence. Moreover, 16.9% believe there is multi-ethnic cooperation, while an insignificant minority of 9.4% evaluate the inter-ethnic relations as being hostile, MCIC's Saso Klekovski told a press conference on Thursday.

He noted that residents of the regions of Vardar (18.5%) and Polog (18.2) have the highest perception for hostile relations, while the highest perception for cooperation exists in the southwestern and northeastern region.

Respondents think that inter-ethnic relations have improved since 2001, voicing expectations that they will be advanced in five years' time.

"The evaluation is positive despite the negative effect of the unpleasant incident at the Kale fortress several months ago and the early parliamentary polls. Ethnic Albanians, Turks, Bosniaks and Roma people assess the inter-ethnic relations as being better than before 2001, showing positive expectations towards improvement in five years' time," Klekovski said.

Results show that ethnic Albanians and Roma people are subjected to strong prejudices. Most of the citizens, 41.6%, deem that there are prejudices for ethnic Albanians, Roma people and ethnic Macedonians, while 8.4% believe that prejudices do not exist.

The biggest distrust has been noted towards ethnic Albanians and Romas. Ethnic Macedonians trust ethnic Albanians (45.4%) and Roma people (25.1%) the least, while they trust ethnic Bosniaks, Serbs and Vlachs the most.

Ethnic Albanians trust ethnic Macedonians (43.4%) and Roma people (18.4%) the least.


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