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news 20 Jun 12

Macedonians Like Croats - But Serbs Don't, Poll Shows

Of all Croatia's regional neighbours, Macedonians have the most positive opinion about Croats while Serbs are most negative, a recent research study shows.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

People from the former Yugoslavia perceive the Croats as cultured, hospitable, hard-working, but also as politicized, militant and distanced.

This is according to recent research by Zagreb political science professor Bozo Skoko on a sample of people from all former Yugoslav countries.

"When talking about Croatia's image in neighboring countries, it is on the one hand the sum of the impact of war in the past 70 years as well as the views created by media reporting in the last 10 or 20 years," Skoko told Deutsche Welle.

Therefore, people's first associations with Croatia are often with wartime events, followed by images of natural beauty, economic development, good roads and cultural heritage.

Macedonians have the most positive opinion of Croats in the region while Serbs have the most negative, the research shows.

Serbs think that Croats are genocidal, militant, politicized and distant. Serbs, Macedonians and Bosnians do not see Croatia as a model for EU integration.

However, all the former Yugoslavs, except Slovenians, see Croats as hard workers.

According to previous studies by the University, Croats have the highest opinions of Hungarians, Italians and Austrians.

They perceive Serbs as militant nationalists and as aggressive, and Bosniaks as religious, hospitable, conservative, funny, happy and traditionalist.

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