Would-be migrants eye France

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PARIS (Reuter) - Thirty-five per cent of European Community residents are prepared to move to another country within the EC and most would pick France as their adoptive home, according to an opinion poll published yesterday.

The survey in the daily Le Parisien newspaper said the highest number of would-be emigrants - 53 per cent - were Dutch, followed by Germans, Britons and Belgians.

France was the favourite destination for people from Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg. Greeks preferred Germany and French people loved Spain.

Some 12,500 people from the 12 EC countries were asked to list in order of preference the three countries they would prefer to emigrate to.

Asked to give reasons for their choices, those polled said France had the best food and richest cultural life. They considered Germany the wealthiest and safest Community country with the best social security and greatest concern for the environment. But Italy had the most works of art and monuments.

Spaniards were seen as people who had most free time and best knew how to use it, and as having the best sense of fun in the most pleasant climate. They were also the least willing to move abroad.