Young Greeks are xenophobes

BRUSSELS (AFP) – More than a third of young adults in Greece, Italy and Belgium think there are too many foreigners in their countries, according to a European Commission survey released yesterday. Generally speaking, it appears that it is in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain that young people appear to be less hostile towards foreigners, said a summary of the poll’s findings. The opposite seems to be true in Greece, where 44 percent of young adults said they agreed with the statement that there are too many foreigners in their country. Like-minded young Italians placed second (38.4 percent), followed by Belgians (37.9 percent). Britain, at 28.2 percent, was close to the EU-wide average of 29.1 percent, while France weighed in at 20.6 percent. In Germany, the figure was 32.1 percent nationally, but 34.2 percent in the poorer, once-communist east of the country. Throughout the EU, 27 percent believed there are a lot of foreigners but not too many in their countries, according to the survey conducted last April and May for an upcoming European Commission policy paper on youth. Twenty-seven percent said foreigners in the European Union should have the same rights as native-born, but only 17 percent said they were glad to share their country with foreigners. Nine percent thought foreigners should be sent back to where they came from. The wide-ranging survey also found that 59 percent of young European adults thought homosexuals should have the right to marry. Euroraces and the comic books provide a local boost for the EU-wide campaign to spread information about the euro through television commercials, newspaper ads and leaflets to be mailed to millions of households.

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