• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Mass refugee arrivals don't scare Germans

AFP/The Local · 11 Sep 2015, 10:41

Published: 11 Sep 2015 10:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2015 10:41 GMT+02:00

Public broadcaster ARD found that 61 percent of people disagreed with the statement "It scares me that so many refugees are coming to us" in its regular Deutschlandtrend survey.

That meant more people were unafraid of refugees than when the question was asked last week, when 59 percent said the large numbers arriving didn't scare them.

But even in that survey, 88 percent of people said they would be prepared to donate either clothing or money to refugees or already had, while 67 percent of people said they would volunteer to help - or that they already were.

Meanwhile, respondents to a ZDF Politbarometer poll said they agreed with the decision to give refuge to asylum-seekers stranded in Hungary, while only 29 percent were opposed.

An overwhelming 85 percent also believe that even more refugees will head to Germany, the ZDF survey found.

Nevertheless, 62 percent of those polled believed Germany can cope with the surge in refugees, while only 35 percent disagreed.

And 43 percent approved of Merkel's grand coalition's plans to pump an extra six billion euros into the refugee relief effort. One in four even wanted more funds unlocked, against 22 percent who wanted the sum slashed.

East less happy with refugees

There were slight differences between west and east Germany in how people felt about refugees and migration.

More people in the states making up the former German Democratic Republic (DDR) agreed that refugees made them afraid at 43 percent, compared to 36 percent in the West.

Meanwhile 81 percent of respondents in the Deutschlandtrend survey said that their everyday lives had not been changed at all by immigration.

Seventeen percent said there had been small changes and just two percent thought change caused by immigration had been far-reaching.

One in five Germans already helping

A third poll by YouGov showed on Thursday that 18 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed, or around one in five, had already done something to help refugees.

Meanwhile 23 percent said they had "concrete" plans to help, while 59 percent had no plans at all.

A majority of people said they would consider donating items to refugees, while almost a quarter of people said they would help a refugee deal with the German authorities.

Eighty-three percent of people agreed that those fleeing war or oppression should have the right to asylum in other countries - and just eight percent disagreed with this idea.

But only a minority thought Germany had a special responsibility to help because of its dark past, at 26 percent.

Conservatives push back at Merkel

Despite the popular backing, the government's welcoming attitude to refugees has sparked discord within Merkel's conservative camp of CDU Christian Democrats and their CSU Bavarian allies.

Story continues below…

CSU vice president Hans-Peter Friedrich called Merkel's decision "an unprecedented political error" that would have "catastrophic consequences", according to a report published Friday in the Passauer Neue Presse daily.

 

"We have lost control," he said, warning that it was "completely irresponsible to allow thousands of people to enter without controlling and registering them, and one can't really estimate how many IS fighters or Islamists are among them."

SEE ALSO: Let's get refugees working quickly: Merkel

 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,580
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd