A new poll suggests that the majority of Germans now hold the view that poverty does not provide sufficient grounds to claim asylum in their country.
The survey, which also took place in 2015, asked Germans their opinions on the nation’s migrant policy. An overwhelming 90 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that the federal government should propose an annual limit on the number of migrants entering the country, reports Die Welt.
According to findings of the Initiative for Market and Social Research, a majority of Germans also now demand stricter border control.
The results are good news for the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and its leader Horst Seefhofer who have proposed to set limits on migrants, and the prioritisation of Christians refugees and those coming from cultures with Western values.
The CSU is the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) which has not yet agreed to definite limits on the number of migrants entering Germany.
The shift in public opinion from the 2015 survey shows that now a majority of Germans, 53 per cent, regard poverty and hunger as illegitimate reasons to claim asylum in Germany – up from 47 per cent from last year.
Academics in Germany said the report demonstrates Germans are starting to lose confidence in the notion that “Germany is a country of immigration”. In 2015, 65 per cent agreed with the idea, but this has fallen to 61 per cent over the year. Additionally, 81 per cent of Germans want to permanently restore national border controls and extend the current suspension of the Schengen area indefinitely.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-mass migration policies have impacted the perceptions of Germans toward migration. The political result has seen huge gains for opposition parties – especially the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) who have gone from polling in the low single digits to becoming the second largest party in some areas including Ms. Merkel’s home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
While Merkel has said she would consider other migrant policy options after her series of electoral defeats, she faces the German electorate in the 2017 federal elections – the majority of whom do not want Merkel as chancellor next year. CSU leader Horst Seehofer have already expressed disunity with the Chancellor, leading to speculation of whether she will run for a fourth term.
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