Germans fear crisis, many would take to streets
Published on: 26 Apr 2009 10:38 CET
In the last week, German politicians and union leaders have debated whether or not social unrest will arrive in Germany once companies are forced to lay off workers and the economy slows down further.
The Sunday survey in Bild am Sonntag says 54 percent of Germans believe there will be unrest in the coming months. Eastern Germans are gloomier, with 61 percent percent believing that unrest is coming.
West Germans are more likely to take to the streets than those from the east, the survey found, with 34 percent of westerners saying they would demonstrate compared to only 27 percent of easterners.
The first big test of whether Germany’s social fabric is fraying comes next week on May 1st, the annual day of work celebrated all over Europe, often with labor demonstrations. In Berlin, where the annual demonstrations often turn violent, with anarchists burning cars and clashing with police, the city is preparing for larger-than-usual rallies.
“Attacks by extremists on police are rising,” Konrad Freiberg, the head of the Union of Police, told Bild. “Already by May first, the violence threatens to escalate.”