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French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians Follow Britain in Euroskepticism

© Flickr / Charles CleggMap of Europe
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Asked whether the EU has more advantages than disadvantages, only 26 percent of French and Italians and 25 percent of the Dutch and Belgians surveyed said EU membership was positive, in a further sign of growing Euroskepticism within the EU.

The stark results of the poll by Elabe, carried out for French news site Atlantico, show a massive rise in Euroskepticism within the EU — with all four studies showing greater dissatisfaction with the EU than Britain, which is holding an In-Out referendum on its EU membership in June.

(Tweet: Euroskepticism reached a high level in France)

When the same question was put to UK citizens, the poll found that 36 percent of people believe there are "more advantages than drawbacks" of EU membership.

Elabe's head of political studies, Yves-Marie Cann said: "The lack of a real debate in France surrounding the European Union compared with the UK, is due to political reasons: none of the two major parties of government now advocates a 'Franxit.'

"However, the British example might give some ideas that could help to give weight to the Front National [party] and force the two major parties of the left and right to take a position on the subject, and possibly meet their requirements with regard to the European Union on all the tension points of European politics.

"Note that fault lines are emerging between different European countries. The Spanish people, Italian and German are mostly, if not overwhelmingly, favorable to the reception of migrants, on the contrary, France, the UK and the Benelux are widely opposed," he said.

Increasing Support for 'Brexit' Option

Another poll by the University of Edinburgh shows that, in France, a majority of people would like a referendum on EU membership (53 percent) and in Sweden, Germany, and Spain there are more respondents in favor of holding a similar referendum than opposed.

Paris, France - Sputnik International
Europe Split as French Follow Britain in Demanding EU Referendum
France was a founder member of what has now become the European Union and is seen as a central pillar of the whole European project, but — in recent months — has seen a huge rise in anti-immigration sentiment and a surge in the popularity of the right-wing Front National Party, led by Marine Le Pen.

The news follows a similar finding by de Hond in the Netherlands which saw 53 percent of Dutch wanting an EU membership referendum similar to the British vote. At this stage, 44 percent would vote to stay in the EU and 43 percent would vote to leave voting to leave.

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron fired the starting gun on his country's route to an In-Out referendum on EU membership, which will take place on June 23. Cameron was forced to promise a referendum ahead of the 2015 general election because of rising anti-EU sentiment within his own Conservative Party and the rise in popularity of the anti-EU UK Independence Party —  which took 12.6 percent of the election share of the vote.

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