Half of Italians believe that Islamic extremism is growing in their country, and over 50 percent believe it is a mounting worldwide threat. These are the findings of a survey carried out in Italy last month by the French satellite rolling news channel France24.
France24 surveyed 950 Italians from 20-23 September. A total 53 percent believed that Muslims have many more areas that unite them such as religion than those dividing them, such as nationalism.
Immigration is an area that splits Italians: one-third believe immigrants represent a threat, while 30 percent say they are a resource. Among this latter group, half view immigrants as an economic resource, while the other half consider immigrants to be a positive force for cultural interchange.
Almost three-quarters (74 percent) believe illegal immigration is a threat and 54 percent fear the growth of immigrant ghettos in Italian cities.
Most Italians believe that immigrants do not wish to integrate , while fewer than one-third blame Italian society for a lack of integration.
More than three-fifths (63 percent) think the immigration policies of the current Italian centre-left government led by Romano Prodi are inadequate.
Italy came top for welcoming migrants out of Europe's five states with the largest immigrant populations, according to the 2007 Migration Integration Policy Index launched on Monday.
Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain and France all rank in the top half of the index. Between them these five countries are thought to be home to at least half of the approximately 21 million migrants currently living in Europe .
The index ranks the 25 EU countries according to how well they are helping immigrants to settle. Its 140 indictators include immigrants' rights in the workplace, opportunities for permanent settlement, permission for family members to join them and laws to combat racism and prejudice.
EU-backed consortium of organisations, led by the Migration Policy Group in Brussels and the British Council produces the annual index
Source: AKI (English)