Published: 25 Jan 2013 12:33 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 25 Jan 2013 19:35 GMT+01:00
A survey in France published this week revealed 70 percent of the population believe there are too many foreigners living in the country and 74 percent believe Islam is not compatible with French society.
The survey, which was carried out by polling institute Ipsos and the Jean-Jaures Foundation, was published in left-leaning French newspaper Le Monde.
As well as having a distrust of Islam and a belief there are too many foreigners in the country, the poll also highlighted French misgivings on everything from globalization to Europe, the media and democracy.
But many of the more interesting results of the survey surround the controversial issues of immigration, religion and racism, which are frequently at the centre of political and public debate.
Some of the stand-out stats include:
· According to the survey, only 29 percent of French people believe the “vast majority of immigrants who have settled in France are well-integrated".
· 46 percent believe unemployment levels can only be cut by reducing immigration.
· 57 percent believe anti-white racism is quite common in France
· 77 percent believe religious fundamentalism in France is a concern.
· 62 percent say they no longer feel at home in France.
Studying the results of the survey for Le Monde, French historian Michel Wincock concluded that “the ingredients for populism are there and not just in the ranks of Marine Le Pen’s Front National party”.
There was also worrying news for President François Hollande, with 87 percent of respondents agreeing with the notion that “France needs a true leader to restore order”.
The survey suggests many people in France lament the decline of their country and hold a bleak outlook for the future.
The vast majority of respondents (90 percent) said French economic power had declined and 63 percent noted a loss of France’s cultural influence.
It appears France’s high unemployment and ailing industry has not gone unnoticed among the population, with just over half of respondents (51 percent) believing “the decline of France is inevitable”.
“The French, or at least the vast majority of them, seem to be afraid of everything,” historian Wincock told Le Monde.
There also appears to be a deep mistrust of France’s elected officials with 62 percent believing politicians are “corrupt”.
The survey also revealed that the media is not held in high regard in France, with 73 percent of the belief it is not independent and a similar figure (72 percent) of the view that journalists are “not doing their job”.
The poll was taken from an internet survey of around 1,000 people.
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