En undersøkelse viser at nesten halvparten av Algeries unge menn ønsker å emigrere illegalt til Europa. Hittil i år har mer enn 28.000 migranter landet på Lampedusa-øyene utenfor Sicilia, mot 12.169 i fjor.

The poll, published by the independent daily Liberte, showed that 49.5 percent of Algerian men aged 15 to 34 wanted to immigrate illegally in countries such as Britain.

Half of these said they were «certain» they’d try to leave. The second half said it was «likely» they would attempt to reach Europe, despite the risks linked to crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a flimsy boat.

More than 80 percent of those wanting out cited «fleeing the country» and «building a future» as their motive to migrate, the newspaper said. It reported that four out of five Algerians knew of someone who had already left without the required passports or visas, or was soon planning to do so. University graduates were more likely to want to leave than those lacking education, the poll found.

The poll was conducted in early November by two experts who previously worked for the National Office of Statistics. It was based on face-to-face interviews with 1,364 young men across 14 regions that make up Algeria’s Mediterranean coastline — the most populous zone in the country. No margin of error was given, but it would be plus or minus three percentage points for a poll of that size.

De fleste som svarte i undersøkelsen har primært Storbritannia som mål, da de regner med at det er enklest å oppnå oppholdstillatelse der.

Illegal emigrasjon er blitt et nasjonalt problem for Algerie, med nesten daglige rapporter om båter som forlater kysten med illegale imigranter på vei til Spania eller Italia. Algeries president Abdelaziz Bouteflika appellerte i forrige måned landets ungdommer til ikke å forlate hjemlandet.

There are no exact figures of how many people migrate illegally from Africa to Europe, but tens of thousands are thought to attempt the journey each year. Most observers consider the trend to be on the rise, but the poll published Wednesday was one of the first to try to quantify the phenomenon.

«We wanted to show how big of a social problem it has become,» Liberte’s editor, Salim Tamani, said by telephone. He said the poll also highlights how Europe’s tougher new anti-immigration policies backfired by creating a need to migrate illegally.

Officials at Algeria’s Ministry of Solidarity, which follows social affairs, declined to comment.

More than 80 percent of those wanting out cited «fleeing the country» and «building a future» as their motive to migrate, the newspaper said.

Algeria is used to its citizens leaving legally by airplane for France, its former colonial ruler. But hordes of idle youth — jobless despite the country’s oil and gas wealth — are taking to the high seas in a desperate escape.

Jean-Philippe Chauzy, a spokesman for the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, said the new poll did not distinguish between those who want to leave and those who actually would make the perilous sea journey.

However, several crossing points in the Mediterranean have seen a growing influx.

International Herald Tribune: Algerians massively seek to migrate