Most Italians against leaving EU - CENSIS report

62% don't want Italexit, 61% against reverting to Lira

ROME - The dominant feeling for 65% of the Italian population is uncertainty, according to research institute CENSIS's latest report on the country's social situation. The report, which was released on Friday, said that widespread anxiety and distrust have led some people to adopt "individual strategies" of self-defence while others are subject to "increasing antidemocratic impulses". It said that many people are hoping for the arrival of a Messiah-like "strongman who solves everything".
Indeed, the report said 48% are in favour of having a "strongman in power" who does not need to worry about parliament and elections. Some commentators say League leader Matteo Salvini, whose party enjoys a big lead in the opinion polls, has many 'strongman' characteristics.
Most Italian people think racism and anti-Semitism are on the rise, according to the report.
It said 69.8% of the people it surveyed for the report said episodes of intolerance and racism towards migrants have increased in recent years. It said 58% thought anti-Semitism had increased too.
The majority are not in favour of following Britain's lead and leaving the European Union, with 62% saying it would not be a good idea, according to CENSIS. The report said 25% were in favour of 'Italexit'. It said 61% are against returning to having the Lira as Italy's currency, with 24% in favour. Almost half, 48% are against bringing back customs checks within the EU, on the grounds that it would hamper the free movement of good and people, while 32% would like them back.
The report said that, over the past ten years, growing numbers of smartphones have led to greater similarity in people's daily habits. It noted that 25.8% of Italians with a smartphone do not leave their home without taking a battery charger with them and that 50.9% check their cell phones as both the first and last thing they do every day. In 2018, the number of cell phones surpassed that of televisions for the first time.