A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows the European public is largely against the European Union’s refugee policy, and thinks increased numbers of refugees will lead to a higher chance of terrorism.
Disapproval of EU refugee policy increases in countries that have a high number of refugees traveling through or settling in them. A poll in Greece, which served as a main entry point for as many as 850,000 refugees in 2015, shows 94 percent of respondents disapprove of the EU policy. In Sweden, which brought in the third-most refugees last year, 88 percent of respondents expressed disapproval.
Countries that had a lower number of refugees enter in 2015 still disapprove of current policy. Results from the United Kingdom and France show 70 percent of the population is against current policy. Results in Germany, which took in more than 1 million refugees last year, show 67 percent of the population is against current policy. Germany fell victim to a spate of terrorist attacks last month, some of which were perpetrated by refugees.
Pew’s research also showed half or more of people in eight out of 10 countries surveyed believe refugees will increase the chance of terror attacks at home. Half or more of respondents in five out of 10 countries believe increased numbers of refugees will place a “burden” on their country by taking jobs and social benefits.
European frustration regarding EU refugee policy has led to a resurgence in some far-right, anti-immigration parties across Europe. Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been the main opponent to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy. The nationalist group saw a small 2 percent increase in support after last month’s attacks, bringing the group’s support to approximately 12 percent.
Despite the recent terrorist attacks and questions over current policy, Merkel has said she will not change her immigration policies.
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