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Elderly Germans 'cause more trouble than Turks'
Photo: DPA

Elderly Germans 'cause more trouble than Turks'

Published: 11 Apr 2012 12:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Apr 2012 12:30 GMT+02:00

Germans are more annoyed by old people and teenagers in their area than their Turkish neighbours a new study shows – contradicting the image of communities consumed by ethnic strife.

When asked, “Which group of people are responsible for problems in your neighbourhood,” by a social research group, nearly a quarter of Germans pointed the finger at teenagers.

Next were the elderly, whose penchant for complaining about noise drove nearly 10 percent to despair. Closely behind came drunkards.

Less than four percent of the 4,600 people interviewed across Germany for the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin (WBZ) answered “Turks”. Around the same share put a more general “foreigners.”

Nearly 50 people singled out Russians as the prime troublemakers, and one person out of the 4,600 simply said “Blacks”.

In total, just 13 percent identified ethnic minorities, either specifically or generally, as the main cause of neighbourhood problems.

Sociologist Merlin Schaeffer who led the study said it was clear that “other problems are more important than racial conflict.”

He told Wednesday’s Berlin paper Tagesspiegel that the number of people who gave a race-based answer was no different in areas where more than 20 percent of people were of immigrant background.

But those living in areas with high rates of joblessness were more likely to complain that the unemployed were creating problems in their neighbourhood.

Schaeffer conducted the interviews over the phone, during which he asked lots of different questions in a free-flowing conversation. Only a third of people he spoke to could give him an answer to the "neighbourhood nuisance" question.

Around 17 percent said they could think of an annoying group but did not say who it was, while nearly eight percent said that there were no problems in their neighbourhood.

Animals were more often said to be a nuisance than right-wing extremists, drugs, new neighbours and even the upper classes – who came in at less than one percent.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:34 April 11, 2012 by raandy
They respondents that think the elderly are a problem should keep in mind these people were not born old.
14:00 April 11, 2012 by lucksi
Hmm, let me see about my neighbourhood:

Annoying kids of various ethnicities who all come from an anti-social-not-caring-what-my-crotchfruit-does-the-entire-day background who are yelling the entire time they are outside, kick soccer balls into fences, cars ,houses and find it HILARIOUS to ring every doorbell on every house they walk past every time, as well as hit the walls of newly renovated houses because they sound so lovingly hollow like their own skulls.

Then there are the young adolescents who loiter about with crappy music blaring from the tiny cell phone speakers who also smoke and drink and yell.

Then you have the older people who really miss the STASI as all they do the entire day is leaning on a pillow on the windowsill looking what everybody in the neighbourhood does.

Then you have the dog owners who will not clean up after their dogs and let them crap right in the middle of the sidewalks and even into doorways.

And last but not least, you have the Turks. If I'd write anything about them it would be racist and get my post deleted (if it isn't going to be anyway)

In short: I hate this town.
14:10 April 11, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@lucksi : ain't you a lovely person ... I bet you spread sunshine and happiness wherever you go :-)
14:56 April 11, 2012 by lucksi
I used to until I moved here 10 years ago. Now I'm the exactly as bitter as I sound (if not more so) except when I employ sarcasm like you just did.

Hoping some gentrification would hit this neighbourhood instead of ghettofication.
15:00 April 11, 2012 by n230099
On the bright side, Germany has come a long way from the days when they really knew how to deal with those that 'bothered' them.
15:36 April 11, 2012 by moistvelvet
Elderly Germans causing trouble is hardly surprising, after all they caused a lot of trouble across Europe when they were younger too!! :o
15:58 April 11, 2012 by Bigfoot76
I don't see a lot of reason to give this study any credit. Either it is a local study only in the greater Berlin area which means it does not represent the opinion of the German people at large or the number of people surveyed is so small they can not really reach a conclusion of what the population of Germany really thinks. A sample study requires a greater pool of people from each area in order to produce results that can be considered.
17:44 April 11, 2012 by murka
Imagine a black elderly person from Russia in your neighborhood - a great great trouble.
21:21 April 11, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@muka : there is probably the same number of black Russians as Japanese Jews .... :-)
23:36 April 11, 2012 by euan.dykes
Did anyone put themselves down in the survey, of cause not. It's called projection, blame someone else for making your feel annoyed.
01:27 April 12, 2012 by maxbrando
Wow, elderly people a problem! They built modern Germany. Don't you ever forget it! You spoiled brats.
04:49 April 12, 2012 by willowsdad
I guess the respondents to this survey were never young and don't think they will ever be old.
08:23 April 12, 2012 by Enough
Overall, I find Germans way to senstive to noise. Doesn't matter what age they are.
10:14 April 12, 2012 by AlexR
And here's another chunk of our tax money getting wasted on another "scientific" and very important and necessary "study".
02:45 April 14, 2012 by yuri_nahl
This reminds me of the Monty Python episode about "Violent Grams" wearing leather jackets picking on middle aged people.
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