The latest polling shows that more than half of Germans are now scared of refugees invited to their country by Angela Merkel.
In the latest ‘Deutschlandtrend’ poll run by public broadcaster ARD, because of the large numbers arriving 51 per cent of Germans said they are scared of refugees, with 47 per cent saying they were not.
With the influx of migrants now thought to be exceeding 200,000 a month, when the same statement – “it scares me that so many refugees come to us” – was offered three weeks ago, The Local reported only 38 per cent said they were in agreement.
When further breakdowns are looked at, the differences become even more pronounced. Although in western Germany the figure is still high at 48 per cent of men saying they are scared of refugees, in eastern Germany fully 58 per cent of men agree with the statement.
Education also highlights differences in response to the statement. 33 per cent of university graduates agree with it, whereas that figure climbs to 55 per cent for high school graduates and 63 per cent for those with more basic educational qualifications.
When asked about the benefits and disadvantages of immigration, the same survey found that 44 per cent of Germans believe it has more drawbacks (a rise of 11 per cent) while 35 per cent think it brings benefits (a 10 per cent fall).
Despite the negativity expressed towards refugees and immigration, The Local reports 58 per cent of those surveyed believe migrants are needed in a German labour market struggling with skilled labour shortages. This outweighs the 39 per cent believing that the number of refugees arriving is so large as to threaten Germany’s prosperity.
The effects of all this are now being felt in the political leadership of Germany with the migrant crisis damaging the reputation of Chancellor Merkel.
Although 54 per cent of respondents are satisfied with Merkel, that is a 9 points drop from the previous month and her lowest rating in the ‘Deutschlandtrend’ since December, 2011. Her main rival, Horst Seehofer (chairman of the conservative Christian Social Union), increased his satisfaction rating by by 11 points to 39 per cent – his best score since April last year.