Hungarians are growing increasingly xenophobic -- even towards non-existing peoples -- a study by a sociology institute shows. According to the survey, ethnic groups that have settled in Hungary since then, such as Chinese, Arabs, Russians and Romanians, are especially unwelcome. What surprised sociologists and the media alike is Hungarians' strong opposition to the presence in their country of "Piresians", a fictitious ethnic group created by the Tarki institute to test xenophobia. "Piresians get the best jobs, and their goal is to occupy everything here and push Hungarians away. In the meantime, they pretend they don't exist, as if they had been invented," left-wing daily Népszabadság wrote in a mockery of average Hungarian attitudes. "How do you recognise them?" goes on the daily. "You can be sure he is a Piresian if he gets a parking place before you, if he gets the job you wanted, or if he gets state aid before you do."
The fictitious group had been included in past surveys; only this year researchers concluded that opposition to their 'presence' in Hungary grew from 59 percent last year to 68 percent this year.