Trump the greatest source of German angst: survey

The greatest source of German angst are the policies of US President Donald Trump, according to an insurance company's survey of the deepest fears plaguing the country's people.

Trump the greatest source of German angst: survey
Trump at the White House during a press conference Thursday. Photo: DPA

Trump's policies were named as the top fear factor by 69 percent of respondents in the annual survey, in which last year's number one issue, terrorism, was bumped down to fifth place.

“More than two-thirds of Germans have a great fear that the politics of Donald Trump are making the world a more dangerous place,” said survey institute director Brigitte Römstedt.

The second greatest concern was mass immigration (named by 63 percent), followed in third place by social tensions this influx has created (also 63 percent), according to the nationwide poll of more than 2,300 respondents.

Worries about the impact of more than one million migrants and refugees flocking to Germany in recent years were marginally higher in the country's ex-communist east and the conservative south.

The “Fears of Germans” poll has been carried out for over a quarter century by the R+V insurance company's Infocenter, which asks respondents which political, economic, personal and ecological issues scare them the most.

“Trump's ruthless 'America First' policy, his aggressive stance against international agreements and his no less aggressive stance on trade and security, including against allies, is scaring a majority of the population,” said political scientist Manfred Schmidt.

“This is reinforced by Trump's attacks against Germany,” Schmidt of the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg, who advises the centre, said in a statement.

“If the US should refuse to provide military assistance to countries with supposedly low defence expenditures, this would put Germany in a difficult position, given its current inability to defend itself.”

The next major worry for Germans was, at number four in the survey with 61 percent, general doubt about their politicians' capacity to handle the complex problems they face.

In fifth place (59 percent) came terrorism, which had topped the fear ranking in the past two years amid a string of deadly jihadist attacks in Paris, Brussels, London and Berlin.

The next greatest fears were that eurozone debt problems would cost German taxpayers, political and religious extremism, natural disaster linked to climate change, other environmental problems, and being care-dependent in old age.

The survey this year was carried out among 2,335 respondents aged 14 years or older between June 8 and July 18, with a total of 21 set questions.

Member comments

  1. you guys should give the link to the actual reports/source. Not sure if someone from Local even reads the comments and consider the feedback!!

  2. Your greatest fear should be the neo-Fascist who now runs Germany’s energy supply with the connivance of Schroeder the Traitor.

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Anti-Semitism ‘massive problem’ in Germany, says Jewish leader on terror attack anniversary

On the second anniversary of a far-right terror attack at a German synagogue, the German Jewish Council has warned that the government needs to make more efforts to stop the spread of anti-Semitism online.

Anti-Semitism 'massive problem' in Germany, says Jewish leader on terror attack anniversary
A star of David on the roof of the Halle synagogue. Photo: dpa-Zentralbild | Hendrik Schmidt

Two years after a terrorist attack in the east German town of Halle that left two people dead, Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, said that more needed to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

“The spread and incitement of hate, for example in the form of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories via social media, is a massive problem,” Schuster told DPA.

On October 9th 2019, a heavily armed right-wing extremist called Stephan Balliet tried to enter the Halle city synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

When he failed to do so, he shot a 40-year-old passerby. He later killed a 20-year-old man at a kebab shop. While trying to escape, the 28-year-old injured several people before he was caught by the police.

The city of Halle is commemorating the event on Saturday, with wreaths to be laid at the scene of the crime. Reiner Haseloff, state leader of Saxony-Anhalt, is expected to attend.

Balliet was sentenced to life in prison in 2020 by the Naumburg Higher Regional Court. His sentence will be followed by preventive detention.

Funs for synagogue security

While praising the German government for introducing a law that makes social media companies responsible for hateful content posted on their sites, Schuster said that the legislation needed to be extended to messenger services such as Telegram.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that the internet is not a lawless space,” he said.

According to Schuster, the German government reacted quickly after the Halle attack by providing money to improve security at Jewish institutions.

This was an important step, he said. “However, there is still much to be done at the political and social level to combat growing anti-Semitism.”

SEE ALSO: Four held over foiled ‘Islamist’ attack on German synagogue