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Majority of Italians against hosting North African immigrants

04-02-2011 11:21 BJT

ROME, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The majority of Italians are against hosting in their country the thousands of North African immigrants who are currently being transferred across the peninsula from the southern island of Lampedusa, according to a survey issued on Friday by Affaritaliani.it online daily.

Over 37 percent of residents are in favor of blocking the refugees before they reach Italian shores and 34 percent say the landed immigrants should be immediately repatriated, while just 29 percent is in favor of hosting them in adequate structures across Italy.

The poll results reflect the humanitarian emergency Italy is facing in the wake of the arrival of over 18,000 immigrants since January, as evacuation plans from Lampedusa proceed at a slow pace.

Italians are divided by territorial belonging. Almost 51 percent of those in the north are against the redistribution of immigrants across the peninsula's 20 regions as envisaged by the government's plan, while all southern residents, who bear the greatest burden of hosting the immigrants, demand shared responsibilities.

On the whole, over 80 percent of Italians criticize the government's handling of the immigration emergency triggered by the North African crises, saying more had to be done to prevent the mass arrivals of refugees.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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