A new poll suggests that most Lithuanians are not very welcoming of refugees and do not agree with the government's policies of offering asylum to people fleeing wars in the Middle East.
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Every sixth Lithuanian thinks positively about receiving refugees, while 61.3 percent completely disagrees with the Lithuanian government's decision to welcome refugees under the European Union's quota system. As many as 72.7 percent of the respondents think that welcoming refugees will be disadvantageous for Lithuania and 67.6 percent negatively evaluate the entire EU refugee policy, shows a poll by the market research company Sprinter Tyrimai, commissioned by DELFI.

Ignas Zokas, the head of Sprinter Tyrimai, says that “the negative attitude was not surprising, because such results were expected. The findings have to do with several things. For example, fear of the other – Lithuanians are not open to other nations, to other religious beliefs. That has been shown a lot of research of values, so I do not think that this survey about refugees could have surprised anyone.”

The poll shows that 61.3 percent of Lithuanians do not agree with the principal decision by Lithuania to accept refugees. A quarter of respondents think that Lithuania is not capable of integrating them, a fifth are fearful of the scale of migration in Europe.

Older people and female respondents were more likely to be sceptic about migration in Europe, while younger adults (up to 35 years), people with higher education and higher-earners were the more likely to regard refugee resettlement in Lithuania positively.

The survey, conducted in late October, involved 1,011 respondents.

Lithuania has agreed to accept 1,105 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea over the course of two years.

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