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China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Photo: DPA

China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees

The Local · 19 May 2016, 10:26

Published: 19 May 2016 10:26 GMT+02:00

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After a survey of popular attitudes in 27 countries and gauging responses from 27,000 people, Amnesty found that almost half of Chinese people (46 percent) would accept a refugee into their home - making them the most welcoming population.

Germans weren’t as prepared to make up the spare bed for people fleeing war - only one in ten saw themselves going this far.

But with 56 percent saying they would accept refugees into their neighbourhood and 96 percent saying they were welcome in their country, Germans still proved themselves to be the second-most-open population in the global survey.

More than three-quarters of Germans also told the NGO that their government should be doing more to help refugees, despite the hundreds of thousands of people who have already arrived in the Federal Republic seeking asylum.

In terms of government policies, though, Germany and China could not be further apart. In contrast to Berlin's open door attitude to Syrian refugees, China has taken in less than 40 Syrian asylum seekers, Foreign Policy reports.

The reports findings jar somewhat with opinion polling conducted in Germany over recent months, which shows falling support for the government’s refugee policy.

A poll conducted in January by public broadcaster ZDF found that 60 percent of people felt the country cannot cope with the large number of new arrivals.

Meanwhile a February poll showed nine in every ten Germans wanted a cap set on the number of refugees the country takes in, something Chancellor Angela Merkel has consistently refused to do.

‘Governments are out of step’

Overall the Amnesty survey showed strong global solidarity with people fleeing war. One in 10 people globally said they would welcome refugees into their home, while eight in 10 said they were welcome in their country.

Only respondents in Russia seemed to strongly reject the idea of accepting refugees, with only 18 percent saying they were welcome.

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Poland was the single eastern member state of the EU surveyed. 36 percent of respondents there voiced a willingness to help. But slightly fewer than three-quarters of Poles said that, in principle, people fleeing war should be given sanctuary in other countries.

“These figures speak for themselves. People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.

“The Refugees Welcome Index exposes the shameful way governments have played short term politics with the lives of people fleeing war and repression. Governments must heed these results, which clearly show the vast majority of people ready and willing to make refugees welcome in their country.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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