Survey: Nearly half of Italian youth racist


ROME (JTA) — Nearly half of Italian young people hold racist attitudes, though most have less prejudice against Jews, according to a new survey.

More than 45 percent of respondents held some sort of racist or xenophobic views, according to the survey presented Feb. 18 to Italy’s Chamber of Deputies.

Titled "I and the Others: Young Italians at the Vortex of Change," the survey polled 2,085 Italians between the ages of 18 and 29. The poll was conducted by the SWG polling institution for the Conference of the Presidents of Legislative Assemblies of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, within the framework of the monitor on xenophobia and racism of the Chamber of Deputies.

In the poll, 40 percent of Italian youth described themselves as "open" to the ethnic input of Italy’s new immigrants.

The poll indicated that more than 15 percent had an active "phobia" in particular against Romanians, Roma and Albanians, and some 20 percent expressed the view that foreigners of all sorts should stay out of Italy.

Nearly 11 percent were judged hard-core "racists," meaning that they held strongly negative views of all but Italians and other Europeans and also expressed anti-Semitic and homophobic views.

The respondents in general, however, seemed to have less prejudice against Jews, most of them judging it "acceptable" to go out to dinner with a Jew, have Jewish neighbors or to have a child who had a Jewish boyfriend or girlfriend.

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