Poll: French worried about immigration

Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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PARIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A new poll finds widespread anxiety about immigration in France with 70 percent saying there are "too many foreigners."

Only 29 percent of the respondents to the poll say immigrants are "well-integrated" into French society, The Local.fr reported. The poll was conducted for the left-leaning newspaper Le Monde by Ipsos.

French historian Michel Wincock said the results suggest there could be a broad-based movement against foreigners.

"The ingredients for populism are there and not just in the ranks of Marine Le Pen's Front National party," Wincock said in Le Monde, referring to the nationalist and anti-immigrant party that came in third in the 2012 presidential election with almost 18 percent of the vote.

Wincock suggested many in France are now "afraid of everything." The poll showed 90 percent of respondents believe France has less economic power, 63 percent that the country's cultural influence has waned and 51 percent that further decline is "inevitable."

An overwhelming majority, 87 percent, said France "needs a true leader to restore order."

Almost half, 46 percent, of respondents said curbing immigration is necessary to reduce unemployment. More than three-quarters, 77 percent, said they are concerned about religious fundamentalism and 57 percent said they believe racism is common in the country.

Six out of 10, 62 percent, said they do not feel at home in France.

The poll of 1,000 people was conducted online.

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