Poll: French and Italians hostile to open borders, unlike the Germans

The French and the Italians are hostile to the idea of keeping Europe's internal borders open, while the Germans are the most in favour, a poll published Monday by Italy's La Repubblica newspaper showed.

The survey, coordinated by Italian polling firm Demos, was conducted from January 13 to February 5 in four major members of Europe's Schengen area - Italy, France, Germany and Spain - as well as in Britain, which is excluded from passport-free zone.

When asked if free movement within Schengen should be maintained "with no controls," only 9.8 per cent said 'yes' in France, against 13 per cent in Italy, 22.8 per cent in Spain and 25.8 per cent in Germany.

The option of resuming border checks "in the face of migration and security problems," effectively abolishing Schengen, was backed by 56.4 per cent of Italians, 40 per cent of French, 26.3 per cent of Spaniards and 19 per cent of Germans.

In Germany, 53.8 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of resuming controls only "in particular circumstances." Percentages backing this proposal were 48.2 per cent in Spain, 46.3 per cent in France and 27.7 per cent in Italy.

The Germans came out of the survey as the most europhile, with 53.4 per cent of the sample expressing trust in the European Union. The share was below 50 per cent everywhere else, dropping as low as 33.5 per cent in Britain and 32.8 per cent in Italy.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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