A major poll shows a majority of voters feel Germany should strengthen EU ties, but a growing bloc wants more autonomy. Many also say fighting climate change must be a priority — but they don't want to pay for it.
German voters have a mixed opinion on future ties with the European Union, according to the latest monthly ARD-Deutschlandtrend poll.
Fifty-two percent of voters feel Germany should deepen ties, five percentage points fewer than in April. Those who think Germany would be better off on its own was up two percentage points to 27%.
CDU/CSU losing support
The popularity of Germany's political parties has also shifted since the April poll, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, dropping a point to 28%.
Support for the second most popular party in the country, the environmentalist Greens, remained unchanged at 20%. Other winners and losers were the center-left SPD, up one to 18%; the far-right AfD, unchanged at 12%; the socialist Left party, up one to 9%; and the business-friendly FDP, down one to 8%.
When asked if climate change should be a priority in Germany, 81% said yes, with only 17% or less saying that little or nothing should be done to protect the environment. A related poll, however, found that 62% of voters rejected the idea of a new gas tax put forth by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze to fight harmful emissions. Overall, just 31% supported the idea, most of them Green Party voters (60%). The measure got the least support from AfD voters (11%).