GIOVENTU » 1 in 3 people in Italy think the country should leave the EU

1 in 3 people in Italy think the country should leave the EU

A study by Pew Research Centre showed that more than one in three people in Italy think the country should leave the European Union.

According to this survey, most Europeans view the EU more positively since the 2016 Brexit vote, but Italy is an exception to the trend, with an increasingly unfavourable perception of the bloc.

Pew Research Centre surveyed almost 10,000 people in France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom from March 2nd to 17 April, 2017.

A median of just 18% in the nine continental EU nations surveyed want their own country to leave the EU.

In many countries, there has been a sharp increase in favourability of EU in the last year. However, Italians, together with Greeks were the most likely to support an exit from the bloc. In both of these countries 35 percent of respondents wanted to leave the EU, while 57 percent said they would support a national referendum on membership. France and Spain, were more supportive of EU membership referendums, but less likely to want to leave the EU.

When asked about the consequences of the UK’s impending exit from the EU, people in other member states generally agree that the British departure will be bad for the EU. They are less certain what Brexit will mean for the UK.

After Brexit, Germany’s influence in the EU is likely to grow. Europeans have an overwhelmingly favourable view of Germany, but a plurality (an average of 49%) believes Berlin has too much influence when it comes to decision-making in the EU.

Among the ten countries surveyed, the lowest favourability was in the UK followed by Greece and Italy joint with France. Even British voters, who narrowly elected to withdraw from the EU, have significantly improved their views of the Brussels-based institution.

However, the majority of Italians still supported the Union. Fifty-six percent of Italians said they had a "favourable" view of the EU, while 39 percent viewed it unfavourably.

As in other countries, young and left-leaning Italians were most likely to hold favourable views of the Union, while there was an extremely strong link between right-wing political views and negative opinion of the EU.

The most disappointing aspects of EU management were for Italians: Europe's handling of the economic issues (65 percent disapproval) and the refugee crisis (81 percent disapproval). On both issues, only the Greeks expressed higher disapproval.

Giulia Lombardo

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