(EUOBSERVER) — By Eszter Zalan
The majority of Europeans, according to a poll of more than 10,000 people in 10 EU countries, would support a Trump-style ban on migration from mainly Muslim countries.
The London-based think tank, Chatham House, conducted the poll before US president Donald Trump’s executive order was announced and asked if immigration from Muslim-majority countries should be stopped.
An average of 55 percent of those surveyed agreed, 25 percent neither agreed nor disagreed and 20 percent disagreed, the poll, published on Tuesday, (7 February) said.
According to the survey, 71 percent of people in Poland, 65 percent Austria, 64 percent in Hungary and Belgium, and 61 percent in France agreed.
Support was also high in Greece (58%), Germany (53%), Italy (51%), the UK (47%) and Spain (41%).
Chatham House called the findings “striking and sobering”.
“They [the results] suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread,” it said in a statement.
Most of these countries have been central in the migration crisis, or have seen terrorist attacks over the last years, and the radical right is part of their political scene, Chatham Hose pointed out.
Support for the ban was stronger among older populations, with only 44 percent of people aged 18-29 being in favor, while 63 percent of those older than 60 said they agreed with a ban.
The notion of a ban was more popular with men and those living in rural areas. Urban dwellers and female respondents were less likely to support the move.
Education was also a dividing factor: of those with secondary level qualifications 59 percent opposed further Muslim immigration, while less than half of all degree holders supported further migration curbs.
European leaders have slammed Trump’s immigration ban from seven mainly Muslim countries, while leaders of Europe’s populist right-wing parties have praised the move.