More than one in 10 French people admit to being racist and many have prejudicial views of immigrants, homosexuals, blacks, Arab and Jews, according to a poll by the BVA institute for two anti-discrimination groups. 28 percent of those polled think that Arabs are more likely to commit crimes than members of other groups, a number that has more than doubled since a similar poll was conducted last year.
Almost half of respondents, 49 percent, thought that immigrants are better able to exploit the social welfare system than are the native French. “In the past few months we’re seen racist speech entering the mainstream,” said Dominique Sopo of SOS Racisme, criticising the identity debate and the government’s attempt to ban the full-face Islamic veil.
The BVA poll was carried out between May 21 and 22 on a representative sample of 1,029 subjects aged 15 or more.