Around 50% of European citizens fear that the arrival of refugees will increase the risk of attacks in their countries, according to a survey published on July 11. Furthermore, many believe, especially in the eastern states, that the refugee crisis will take a toll on their countries’ economies.
The Pew Research Center, based in Washington, found that the percentage of people who believe that refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in their country reached 46% in France, 52% in the UK, 61 % in France, 71% in Poland and 76% in Hungary.
The governments of Hungary and Poland have criticized the European Union’s efforts over the last year to allocate the refugees requesting asylum — mostly from Syria and Iraq – in different member countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has accepted around a million refugees in the country over the past year, noted that Islamist fighters have used the refugee crisis to infiltrate Europe. Some of those who participated in the attacks of Islamic State in Paris and Brussels allegedly came from Syria.
When asked whether refugees would burden the European countries’ economies, respondents from the 10 countries surveyed had different opinions. It appears that 31% of Germans and 82% of Hungarians agree with this statement. Furthermore, 47% of Italians felt that refugees are more responsible for the crime rate in the country compared to other groups, while only 13% of Spanish respondents agreed with this view.
In regards to the Europeans’ views on Muslims, about two-thirds of Poles, Greeks, Italians and Hungarians said they viewed them in a negative way, while the same percentage was lower in France, Germany and the UK.