Concerns about jobs, crime and security among Europeans have risen since the start of the migration crisis about five years ago. That’s according to a survey newly published by the Washington-based Pew Research Center
During an election event on Monday (July 11) Chancellor Angela Merkel who oversaw a welcome in Germany for about a million refugees last year, said militants may have taken advantage of the crisis.
“In part, the refugee flow has been used to smuggle terrorists,” the Chancellor told members of her party.
The Pew survey shows the percentage of people in several countries who believe the refugee crisis is linked with the threat of terrorism.
The connection appears strongest in eastern and central European countries such as Hungary and Poland which have led criticism of EU efforts to distribute asylum seekers around the bloc, mostly from Syria and Iraq.
But the survey also shows sharp ideological divides across EU on views about diversity and national identity.
The surge of refugees into Europe has dominated the anti-immigrant rhetoric of right-wing parties across the Continent, but at the same time there has been widespread sympathy for the plight of desperate people.