The annual report of research agency Censis gave an alarming portrayal of the state of the nation on Friday, suggesting Italy is increasingly gripped by bitterness.
The 52nd Censis said a form of nationalism that was more “psychic” than political had become widespread, in part due to the lack of a strong economic recovery, adding that this often led to people taking out their resentment on foreigners. “The social system, which is experiencing tension, fear, rancour, looks to an authoritarian sovereign and asks for stability,” the report said. The report said 69.7% of Italians would not be happy to have a Roma person as a neighbour, while 52% believe that more is being done for migrants than for Italians.
It said 63% of Italians have a negative opinion about immigration from non-EU countries, compared to an EU average of 52%.
It said 45% do not like immigration from other EU countries either, compared to an EU average of 29%. Those most hostile to migrants are the most fragile – the elderly and the unemployed, Censis said.
“These are the figures of widespread bitterness that erects invisible, but very thick, walls,” the report said. It said people felt increasingly abandoned by the national health system and that the perception of inequality was on the rise.
Censis said people generally viewed the justice system as costly and slow, with 30% saying they would not take up legal action to assert their rights.