Separating economic and cultural concerns about immigration will suppress the left’s chances of addressing citizens’ anxieties. The forms of right-wing populism that have emerged across Europe are a powerful reminder of how culture and economics can merge into powerful expressions of class
Current data regarding immigration leaves no doubt as to the predominant opinions held by European citizens on the issue: in most countries the vast majority of people surveyed are more than sceptical about the benefits of immigration. And while many cite economic fears as the basis for their rejection of immigrants, for many the cultural impact of immigration is seen as equally problematic.
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