Most people in Germany, Finland and Britain would support laws requiring refugees to give their valuables and money to authorities
Last week, Denmark passed a controversial new law to confiscate asylum seekers' valuables worth more than £1,000 to help pay for housing and food costs, drawing criticism from human rights groups and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Seizing possessions from refugees has been likened to confiscating valuables from Jews drawing the second world war. However the Danish government will exempt items of sentimental value such as wedding rings, and makes the point that Danish citizens already have to sell their assets over a certain value if they want to claim benefits.
New YouGov research across seven European countries reveals majorities in Germany (62%), Finland (55%) and Britain (54%) would support such a policy in their own country, while French people also tend to support the idea by 39% to 30%.
Denmark itself is divided over the law – 38% support and 39% oppose – despite it passing by 81 votes to 27 in the parliament. Norway is the only other country to have a lower level of support (33%) for the policy.
Six of the seven countries say on balance immigrants have a negative rather than positive impact on their country. France and Finland are the most negative about the impact of immigration (net -48 and -39 respectively). However if you were to add the percentage who say immigrants have no effect to the percentage who say they have a positive effect a picture of division rather than outright negativity emerges.
Every country ranks immigration and asylum in their top three most important issues facing the country, while Britain, Sweden, Finland and Norway tend to say it is the most important issue. France is the only country to rank immigration third, citing ISIS as the most important issue and poverty as the second most important.
Europe's greatest concerns
% of adults in each country who say the following are the most important issues facing their country at this time. Click the column headings to sort
January 20-27, 2016
In none of the countries are people more likely to say it is better for people of different cultures and backgrounds to retain their own cultures and traditions rather than leave them behind and integrate.
Critics of Denmark's migrant asset confiscation policy argue that while Danish citizens also have to sell assets over a certain value to claim benefits, many have unemployment insurance and Danes would not face the same kind of searches as are proposed for migrants under the new law.