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Germans fear Trump more than Kim and Putin

Rebecca Staudenmaier
December 26, 2019

When asked who posed the greatest threat to world peace, Germans in a recent poll overwhelmingly pointed to one person — Donald Trump. The US president beat out the leaders of North Korea, Russia, China and Iran.

US President Donald Trump
Image: Getty Images/AFP/B. Smialowski

Although Washington is one of Germany's closest allies, public trust in the US has significantly eroded under President Donald Trump, a new YouGov survey showed.

Germans were asked who was more dangerous: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Russian President Vladimir Putin or US President Donald Trump.

Some 41% of Germans said they thought Trump was the most dangerous out of the five world leaders.

In second place was Kim with 17%, followed by Putin and Khamenei with 8%. Coming in last was China's Xi with 7%.

Over 2,000 people in Germany took part in the survey, which was commissioned by news agency dpa.

A similar YouGov poll was carried out in July last year, in which 48% of Germans surveyed said Trump was more dangerous than Kim and Putin. That poll, however, did not include the leaders of Iran or China.

Macron trusted more than Merkel

A separate year-end poll showed that public trust in German Chancellor Angela Merkel had also diminished at home, particularly when compared to other European leaders.

According to a poll carried out by the Kantar institute for the Funke media group, 57% of Germans surveyed said they had a "rather high" level of trust in French President Emmanuel Macron.

Merkel, on the other hand, came in several points behind the French leader at 53%.

The differences were even more pronounced on the other end of the scale, with 44% of Germans surveyed saying they had "very little" trust in Merkel, compared to 32% for Macron.

In that poll, Trump came in last as the least trustworthy leader (89% very little trust), behind Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (86%) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (71%). Developments in all three NATO allies since around 2016 have gained considerable media attention in Germany.

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