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Germany

Germans Losing Faith in Political, Economic Systems

Some 40 percent of Germans don't trust their country's style of democracy, a survey said. But despite the dour overall outlook, a second study found Germans remain fairly optimistic when it comes to their own lives.

The German flag on top of the German parliament Reichstag in the capital Berlin

Germans have a hard time finding faith in home-spun democracy and the government

According to a study by the Institute for Market Research commissioned by the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung, one out of three Germans does not trust their country's style of federalist democracy. Even fewer have faith in the system of social market economy.

The study, published on Tuesday, April 22, comes on the heels of a speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling for business leaders to shore up the economic system many say contributed to the country's "economic miracle" after World War II.

Based on responses of some 1,000 participants across the country, the study showed a regional difference in perceptions of German democracy. In western Germany, 64 percent believe democracy is operating as it should, while in the nation's eastern states, that number is 44 percent.

A police training center in Berlin

Germany's police got top marks in the poll

Faith in the German government and the political parties seems to have suffered most among the population: 38 percent believe in the German government, and only 22 percent in the parties represented in parliament.

Police are popular, so is love

The strength of the market is a different story. In western Germany, 51 percent believe in the power of the German market economy and 43 percent think the social welfare system is up to par. In eastern Germany, those numbers are decidedly lower: 33 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

The study showed that Germans appear to have the most faith in their police force. Some 85 percent of those surveyed think the work police do is satisfactory. Some 62 percent are content with the justice system, and 64 percent said they find the reporting by German television acceptable.

Couple standing close together in front of sunset over the Rhine River

Love still rules among many Germans

Germans' outlook on daily life was the subject of a survey published Tuesday by the online version of Der Spiegel newsweekly.

Nearly 80 percent of all Germans said they begin their day with confidence. And over 80 percent of men and women believe in "true love," according to the survey.

The magazine's poll looked at everything from when Germans go to bed at night, to whether they sing in the car when alone or would sleep with their partner's best friend, to how much time they take -- on average -- to eat breakfast in the morning.

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