Three-quarters of the Romanian school pupils would not have as their neighbours people of different sexual orientations, and two-thirds, over 60 per cent, of those polled, would not live anywhere near Roma people or people ill with AIDS. Further more, more than one-third of the interviewees avoid people of different ethnic groups or religions in the following proportions – Muslims – 42 per cent; Magyars – 35 per cent and Jewish – 34 per cent, according to the study “Youth Civic and Political Involvement” conducted by the Soros Foundation Romania and reproduced in yesterday’s “Evenimentul Zilei”. “The results are extremely worrying, as they show the Romanian youth being very intolerant, given a meaningful proportion of them could be categorized as xenophobic and anti-Semitic,” the study authors say.
The survey also reveals that 26 per cent of those questioned believe a democratic system is not good for Romania, compared to 16 per cent of their adult counterparts. Not only that, the prospect of a military regime ruling the country appears attractive to 40 per cent of the subjects, compared to only 26 per cent of the adults interviewed. Fifty-three per cent of those questioned say that observing the country’s laws is all it takes to be a good citizen, and 39 per cent believe that being a good citizen does not include being socially or politically involved. Data show pupils are less content that their adult counterparts with how Romanian democracy operates, 41 per cent of the latter group declaring themselves satisfied with the ongoing democracy, compared to only 19 per cent of the pupils polled. The study also shows that 43 per cent of the Romanian school graduates have never engaged in volunteer work, 69 per cent have never been part of a sports team, yet, more than half, 53 per cent, go to church a couple of times a year, and 42 per cent of them prey to God daily… Seventy per cent of the Romanian pupils believing in afterlife could be seen as a rather unusual finding revealed by the study.