Spain has become the most popular destination for Europeans thinking of working abroad, ahead of the UK according to a Financial Times/Harris poll taken in five European countries.
The FT/Harris poll portrays Spain as a country at ease with itself: its citizens are relaxed about immigration and are the most optimistic among any big European country that their lives are getting better. The poll of 6.561 adults in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain offers an insight into the factors that are pushing and pulling migration in Europe and the extent to which it is seen as a political problem. "The survey found that while the UK was second only to Spain in its attractiveness as a destination, British citizens have become hostile to migration of workers within the EU, with 47% of people saying it had a "negative impact" on the economy", published the Financial Times. Spain came ahead as the country in which foreigners would most like to work with 17%, followed by UK with 15%, France 11%, Italy 6%. French and Italian citizens were the most likely to want to emigrate to Spain, which also showed the lowest number of people who considered life was getting worse and its citizens were by far the most positive about the economic benefits of inward migration. Finally the poll shows that a total of 42% of Spaniards believed immigration was good for the economy, compared with only 19% in Britain and France. However, a large majority of Spanish respondents, 71%, still wanted tighter border controls, a reflection of the problem of illegal immigration from Africa. The percentage of Britons is 76% with 66% considering "there are too many" foreigners in the country.