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Most see MPs in grip of lobbyists

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Most see MPs in grip of lobbyists
Merkel, SPD politician Rudolf Scharping and Friede Springer (r). Photo: DPA
07:53 CEST+02:00
Most Germans believe lobbyists have too much influence on members of parliament and do not trust politicians to do their jobs, according to a new study.

Lobbyists working to influence lawmakers in favour of their employers are too successful in swaying German laws, said 75 percent of those questioned by Forsa pollsters in the study published in the Stern weekly magazine on Wednesday.

Just 16 percent disagreed with this idea, the study showed.

MPs are not well regarded in any case, with two thirds of Germans saying they did not believe that members of parliament were capable of doing "proper and engaged" work. Just 24 percent trusted them to do a good job. A further 81 percent said they thought politicians were "overwhelmed."

In addition, 77 percent of citizens believe politicians should follow their own consciences rather than the party line - compared with just 20 percent who think keeping with the party should be a politician's first priority.

Generally, the study suggested that Germans were extremely politically engaged, with 40 percent claiming to tune into televised Bundestag debates now and then.

"We know that the Germans have become convinced democrats. But that the politicians come off so badly is shocking," head of Forsa Manfred Güllner told the magazine.

The Local/jlb

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