Nostalgic Europeans more critical of immigration: German survey

BERLIN, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Two-thirds of Europeans believe that the world used to be a better place, Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation reported on Monday citing a survey carried out under its eupinions project.

According to the survey which polled 10,855 citizens in five member states of the European Union (EU), 67 percent of respondents hold the above-mentioned belief, and they were grouped as the nostalgic.

The survey further found that those Europeans who are nostalgic are often more right-wing policy supporters than non-nostalgic counterparts, and they are also generally much more critical of immigration.

The majority of nostalgic citizens, 53 percent, are convinced that immigrants “take jobs away” from the locals, and 78 percent of them even agree with the statement that “immigrants do not want to integrate themselves into society”. For their non-nostalgic counterparts, only a minority of 30 percent believe that immigration will lose jobs for a few.

Fighting terrorism is the biggest priority for 60 percent of those who feel nostalgic, while 47 percent for those who are not nostalgic, according to the survey.

In terms of country differences, while 77 percent of Italians think that the world used to be a better place, 65 percent of the French, 61 percent of Germans, and 64 percent of Spaniards and 59 percent of Poles think the same.

The statement of the survey results said, nostalgia is a powerful political tool. References to a better past are skillfully employed by populist political entrepreneurs to fuel dissatisfaction with present-day politics and anxiety about the future.

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