Survey: Many Europeans fear more terrorism after wave of refugees

Many Europeans fear the refugee crisis will increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country, according to a recent survey.

The survey of people in 10 European countries also showed that many people are concerned that refugees will take away jobs and that they will be an economic burden.

In eight of the 10 European nations surveyed, half or more of the people questioned believe incoming refugees increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country. The highest percentage was in Hungary, where 76 per cent of the people asked agreed with the statement. It was followed by Poland (71 per cent) and Germany and the Netherlands (61 per cent).

Half or more of the people surveyed in five of the 10 nations also agreed that refugees will take away jobs and social benefits. This concern is highest in Hungary, where 81 per cent agreed with the statement, Poland (75 per cent) Greece (72 per cent) and Italy (65 per cent).

The findings are part of a survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre conducted in 10 European Union nations and the United States and released on Monday. Nearly 11,500 people responded to the survey, which was conducted from April 4 to May 12.

Perceptions of refugees are influenced in part by negative attitudes toward Muslims already living in Europe, Pew said. In Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece, more than six-in-10 say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Muslims in their country. The opinion is shared by at least one-in-four in each nation polled.

In every country in the survey, the dominant view is that Muslims want to be distinct from the rest of society rather than adopt the nation’s customs and way of life. Six-in-10 or more hold this view in Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Germany.

The survey was conducted before the Brexit referendum in Britain and prior to terrorist attacks at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, both of which took place in late June. The survey includes countries that account for 80 per cent of the population in the 28 EU countries and 82 per cent of the EU’s gross domestic product.

Last update: Tue, 12/07/2016 - 11:25
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