Trust has declined slightly over the past year for all institutions apart from the government, which has experienced a five-point increase, the Global Trust Report conducted by the non-profit market research group GfK.
The percentage of Germans who trust the police remained solid at 81 percent at the start of this year, compared with 85 percent 12 months ago. The judicial system came next with 65 percent of people expressing trust, and then public administration and the military followed, with 58 and 57 percent trust respectively.
The least trusted institutions were political parties on 16 percent, and corporations with 26 percent.
The results seem to confirm other studies which suggest Chancellor Angela Merkel is her party and government’s greatest asset, Raimund Wildner, GfK manager told Die Welt newspaper.
He said the five percentage point increase in trust shown in the government was due to the positive impression people have of Merkel’s handling of the euro crisis.
Looking in more detail, the study showed the most trust was invoked by the most traditional – with craftsmen enjoying the complete trust of 87 percent of those questioned. After them came manufacturers of domestic appliances with 78 percent, and car makers with 71 percent.
Banks came off particularly badly, with a loss of seven percentage points over the last year putting them down to 29 percent. “Not even one in three citizens trusts this branch,” said Wildner. He suggested, “the recent scandals are taking effect, from interest rate manipulation to raids on suspicion of aiding tax evasion.”