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Reuters/Marko Djurica
What should we do?

Almost half of some European countries don’t believe in welcoming refugees

Aamna Mohdin
By Aamna Mohdin


When it comes to dealing with Europe’s escalating refugee crisis, neighboring countries could not be more polarized.

While Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees this year alone, aid groups have slammed France for failing to accommodate the 6,000 migrants sleeping rough in the infamous Jungle camp in Calais. As the European Union urgently calls for a united response to the crisis, a recent survey (link in French) by Ifop of 1,000-1,100 people each from seven countries shows European citizens are just as divided as their governments.

When participants were asked what they thought of the statement, “It is the duty of our country to welcome migrants fleeing war and misery,” 46% of French and British people rejected it, compared to 21% of Germans.

On the question of whether their country had taken in enough foreign migrants and whether there was room for more, 35% of the French completely agreed with this. Only 14% of Germans felt the same way.

Looking at solutions to the current migrant crisis, France and Spain were most in favor of military intervention. France was also most in favor of strengthening borders.

Germany and Denmark recommended sending aid to developing countries in hopes of stemming migration, but the French was least in favor of this proposed solution.

The survey found that most countries—again, except Germany—doubted their financial ability to accommodate refugees. German citizens were clearly most in favor of welcoming migrants, but support did drop slightly. When the survey was initially conducted, between Sep. 16-18, 79% of Germans were in favor of hosting refugees. This fell at the follow-up survey three weeks later—to 75%.

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