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Only 60 percent of Germans have faith in democracy

DDP/The Local · 21 Apr 2008, 14:32

Published: 21 Apr 2008 14:32 GMT+02:00

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The study carried out for the regional daily paper Leipziger Volkszeitung paints an even grimmer picture for the formerly communist eastern part of Germany, where only 44 percent of those asked said they believed in democracy. In what was once West Germany, 64 percent said they did.

Besides struggling economically since German reunification in 1990, eastern German society never underwent the same denazification process as did the democratic and capitalist western part of the country.

The survey, which polled 501 eastern Germans and 505 western Germans and will be published on Tuesday, showed only 48 percent of those asked had faith in Germany’s so-called social market economy. The regional discrepancy was again stark: a majority of 51 percent of westerners did and only 33 percent in Germany’s five eastern states did.

However, despite the lacking trust in the political and economic systems, at least 63 percent of western Germans still believe their personal freedoms will continue to be protected, and a majority of 55 percent of easterners agreed they would.

The authority-loving Teutons also overwhelmingly trusted the German police, with 85 percent responding they had faith in those ensuring for law and order.

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Some 75 percent trusted the country’s airlines, and 64 percent believed in what they saw on television. Only 62 trusted Germany’s legal system and 60 percent the country’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr.

The federal government only had the backing of 38 percent, and the political parties in the German parliament, the Bundestag, ranked at the bottom of the survey, with only 22 percent of respondents saying they had trust in them.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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