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Dexit: One in 10 Germans in favour of leaving the EU

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Dexit: One in 10 Germans in favour of leaving the EU
The EU flag flying outside the Reichstag in the German capital Berlin. Photo: DPA
08:36 CEST+02:00
EU approval ratings in Germany have declined, but the vast majority of Germans are still in favour of staying in the EU, according to a new study.

Brexit hasn't quite happened yet, but some residents in Germany say they want to follow in the UK's footsteps and vote to quit the bloc.

A total of 10 percent of Germans are in favour of the country's exit from the EU – so-called 'Dexit' – according to research carried out by the European Parliament, reported the Tagesspiegel.

That's an increase of one percentage point compared to the last survey in autumn.

Germany's exit from the EU has been called for by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The party's draft manifesto states that if the EU is not reshaped in line with the party's ideas "in an appropriate timeframe", Germany must leave the bloc.

SEE ALSO: Far-right AfD to campaign on German EU exit

But most Germans are strongly in favour of the EU, despite a drop in approval ratings. The 'spring Eurobarometer' found that 76 percent of respondents in Germany considered EU membership "a good thing". That's five percentage points lower than the last survey.

However, the figure is well above the European average.

The EU Parliament poll, which was carried out ahead of next month’s European elections, states that the majority of the bloc is happy to remain a member.

In an overview of the remaining EU27 countries, excluding Britain, 68 percent of voters would opt to remain in the bloc while only 14 percent would decide to quit.

Meanwhile, a total of 61 percent of respondents consider EU membership to be a "good thing". This is one percentage point lower than in the autumn, when it reached its highest level in 26 years.

People in the Czech Republic (33 percent) and Italy (36 percent) were the least enthusiastic about the EU.

SEE ALSO: Voting in Germany - What you need to know about the EU elections

'Continued strong support for the EU'

The report's authors said the poll “shows a continued strong support for the European Union”.

They added: “Despite the challenges of the past years – and in cases such as the ongoing debate surrounding Brexit possibly even because of it – the European sense of togetherness does not seem to have weakened.

"One month ahead of the date originally scheduled for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU as laid down in Article 50, close to seven Europeans in ten said they would vote to remain in the EU if a referendum was held in their country."

Meanwhile, only 38 percent of respondents said they knew that European elections were being held in May.

The European Parliament's survey was carried out across all 28 member states and interviewed 27,973 Europeans between February 19th to March 4th, 2019.

 
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