Angst Dominates German Sentiments | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 27.12.2001
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Angst Dominates German Sentiments

Fear of terrorist attacks on German soil top the list in a recent poll of German sentiments. And if Germans were to vote today, a new government would be in power tomorrow.


Shockwaves running through society

The outlook has got worse. That is the result of the poll conducted by the Allensbach Institut, a German opinion research institute. Germans are worried when they look into the future.

Only 42 percent are optimistic about the outlook for the coming year. Twelve months ago, it was 56 percent.

Fear of a world war is greater now than it has been since the 1950’s. And 47 percent of the country’s citizens go into the new year with worry and angst, according to Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, head pollster at Allensbach.

The angst of Islamic fundamentalist strikes on German territory has toppled fear of unemployment from the first place of the poll that looks into German sentiments before new year’s.

Their fear of terrorist attacks is closely followed by worries of rising juvenile delinquency and general internal security fears.

Red-Green coalition out

Another interesting finding of the poll is that Germans seem to be increasingly unhappy with the way in which the government is handling these issues. If the country went to the polls today, the ruling Red-Green coalition would be voted out of office.

The poll’s findings see the two main political fronts neck-and-neck at the next election.

The Social Democrats (SPD) would get 35.4 percent, the Greens 6.6 percent, giving them a grand total of 42 percent. The conservative CDU and the Liberals combined would receive 46.6 percent of the votes.

To get there, Noelle-Neumann reckons, the CDU would have to sort out the lingering question of who should be their candidate for chancellor. The CDU would have to go with Edmund Stoiber, currently the state of Bavaria’s Prime Minister, says Noelle-Neumann.

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