Undocumented workers and human rights activists march to protest against the immigration bill on April 29, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


Survey reveals European countries most opposed to immigration


According to a poll conducted by the French company BVA XSight, more than 70 per cent of the population surveyed in 10 European countries are against taking in more immigrants.

The survey of 22,726 people above 15 years of age was carried out online between March 27 and April 9. The question asked was: “Do you think your country takes in too many migrants?”

Topping the list was Greece, with 90 per cent of those questioned expressing reluctance to welcome more immigrants into the country. It is generally felt the nation’s geographical location and economic challenges may contribute to that sentiment; its proximity to Turkey and Libya makes it one of the European continent’s main entry points.

Following closely behind was Cyprus, where 84 per cent was opposed to further immigration. Many inhabitants believe the island nation’s small size and complex geopolitical situation make it particularly vulnerable.

Ireland ranked third on the list, with 78 per cent of respondents expressing hesitancy in accepting more arrivals.

Germany on 77 per cent was fourth among those voicing reservations. Immigration has become a major issue due to social pressures and the rise of Conservative parties, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he may back deportations .

Similar to Germany, Austria demonstrated a high level of reluctance toward increased immigration, with 77 per cent of respondents expressing such.

In Bulgaria, 76 per cent of respondents indicated the same.

With 75 per cent of those surveyed agreeing with that sentiment, Poland ranked seventh on the list. It, along with other countries in Eastern Europe, is seen as among the most nationalist on the continent.

Italy demonstrated significant resistance to further immigrant arrivals, with 74 per cent of respondents voicing such. The Mediterranean country is one of the largest recipients of immigrants from North Africa. The recent migrant crisis on the Italian island of Lampedusa further precipitated the reform of the European Union’s immigration and asylum policies.

Belgium saw 73 per cent of respondents express opposition to increased immigration. The country’s complex linguistic and cultural landscape, as well as concerns about migrant integration, likely contributed to that sentiment. In cities such as Brussels, immigrants now account for a large percentage of the total population.

Rounding off the top 10 was Czechia on 72 per cent. As with other countries in the former Soviet orbit, immigration flows are a relatively recent phenomenon.

The rest of the countries disapproving of further immigration in the survey came in as follows:  Spain, France and Sweden notched up 70 per cent; Finland and Estonia, 68 per cent; Lithuania was on 63 per cent; Latvia, 61 per cent; with Portugal, Slovakia, Denmark and Romania posting 57 per cent.