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Europeans want governments to focus more on curbing migration than climate change

A migrant is helped after he fainted from exhaustion at a makeshift camp for migrants in Horgos, Serbia, July 27, 2016.
A migrant is helped after he fainted from exhaustion at a makeshift camp for migrants in Horgos, Serbia, July 27, 2016. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Ruth Wright with AP
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People all over the world were surveyed about what issues governments should prioritise.

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Europeans wants their governments to focus more on curbing immigration than climate change.

Globally, 33% believe climate change is one of the world’s three main challenges, but only 14% say fighting it should be among the top three priorities for their government.

Germans were in the lead, with 44% wanting their government to focus on reducing immigration, while nearly a quarter surveyed said fighting climate change was a priority.

The stats come from a new study commissioned by Denmark-based think tank Alliance of Democracies Foundation.

“Many European countries have seen a sharp rise in the share of people who say that ‘reducing immigration’ should be a top government priority,” says the study.

Based on almost 63,000 interviews in 53 countries, the Democracy Perception Index found that 85% of those polled say that it’s important to have democracy in their country. However, governments don’t always live up to people's expectations. While 58% of respondents were satisfied with the state of democracy in their country, the remainder were not.

The study said dissatisfaction was not limited to non-democratic countries. It was also prevalent in the US, Europe and in other places with a long democratic tradition. In Europe, about a third of Hungarians believe they live in a democracy.

The survey was based on interviews conducted in February and April. The margin of error across all countries sampled was around 2.9 percentage points.

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