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Germans more optimistic - and a bit less worried about Trump

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Germans more optimistic - and a bit less worried about Trump
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in France recently. Photo: DPA
12:53 CEST+02:00
Germans are significantly more optimistic this year compared to recent years.

That's according to the "Fears of Germans" poll, which has been carried out for over a quarter century by the R+V insurance company's InfoCenter.

The survey, which asks respondents which political, economic, personal and ecological issues scare them the most, found that fear has fallen to its lowest level in 25 years. 

Last year the greatest source of German angst were the policies of US President Donald Trump.

Although Trump was still causing worry amongst Germans, the influx of refugees was the topic of most concern, the survey found.  

But overall, there's been a big change in the mood of the country. 

"The mood in Germany has improved,” said Brigitte Römstedt at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday. 

“As a result of a decline in almost all concerns, the fear index - the average of all fears surveyed - has fallen from 47 to 39 percent, its lowest level since 1994.

The representative survey involved asking more than 2,000 respondents questions from May to July this year.

Germans are said to be less worried this year. Photo: Depositphotos/Natasha Fedorova

What are Germans worried about?

A total of 56 percent (previous year: 63 percent) of Germans fear the influx of a large number of refugees, making it the greatest source of angst.

Almost as many people (55 percent, previous year: 63 percent) are afraid that the further influx of foreign people will lead to tensions between Germans and immigrants.

Meanwhile, the majority of Germans (55 percent) fear that Trump's policies will make the world more dangerous. Last year Trump’s policies were named by 69 percent of respondents as the top source of angst.

READ ALSO: Trump the greatest source of German angst: survey

Other issues concerning Germans are excessive demands on politicians (47 percent), extremism (47 percent), unaffordable rents (45 percent) and health concerns in older age (45 percent). Higher taxes due to the EU and rising prices are also an issue for just over 40 percent of those surveyed.

Fear of terrorist attacks continues to fall

The greatest angst in recent years has fallen further: only 44 percent of those surveyed this year are worried about terrorist attacks. Two years ago that number was 71 percent, amid a string of deadly jihadist attacks across Europe in 2016. 

Angst over climate change and extreme weather only played a role for 41 percent of those surveyed.

Meanwhile, almost one in four Germans (24 percent) fear losing their job. This figure is the lowest since the survey began about 25 years ago.

A total of 23 percent of people in Germany are afraid of crime, five percentage points less than a year ago.

Gap between east and west is widening

The good news is that fears are declining in both east and west. However, as they have fallen much more in the west, there are again significant differences between the two regions this year, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the east, all fears are greater - even for the top issues. For example, 64 percent of citizens in the east fear the influx of refugees. In the west it is 10 percentage points less.

Meanwhile, women throughout Germany are traditionally more anxious than men. Women are much more concerned about illness (women: 41 percent, men: 30 percent) and care (women: 49 percent, men: 40 percent), but also about harmful substances in food (women: 47 percent, men: 37 percent).

Interestingly, women are more relaxed than men when it comes to worrying about an influx of refugees (women: 54 percent, men: 58 percent). While this fear is the number one angst among men, the greatest fear for women is the consequences of Trump's policies.

 
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