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Poll: Germans pessimistic on refugees

July 30, 2016

A minority of Germans have confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel's "We can do it" promise of accepting refugees. The YouGov online poll recently surveyed more than 2,000 people on refugees and fear of terror attacks.

BdT Deutschland Rügen Bauzaun Wir schaffen das nie Frau Merkel
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Sauer

Merkel coined the motivational slogan "Wir schaffen das" (We can do it) last August during the height of the crisis as thousands of refugees were making their way to Germany on a daily basis.

But now, a year later, the internet pollster YouGov found that when 1,017 Germans were asked: "How do you feel about Merkel's statement 'We can do it,' repeated several times in relation to the high number of refugees in Germany and the country's ability to accept them and look after them?" some 48 percent said they did "not agree at all" and a further 18 percent said they "slightly disagree," with an overall negative answer topping 66 percent.

Those who "slightly agree" were 18 percent and 8 percent were in total agreement, meaning little more than a quarter of respondents had confidence in Merkel's promise.

That means the numbers of those who agree with Merkel's optimism on refugees are at their lowest point since August 15, 2015, with her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party facing a general election next year.

The online poll was conducted between July 26 and 29.

Deutschland Bombenanschlag in Ansbach
An attack claimed by "Islamic State" on July 24 involved a rejected Syrian asylum seeker detonating a suicide bomb outside a festival in Ansbach. Only the attacker died, 15 others were hurt.Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Karmann

Fears of more attacks on German soil

Quizzed about the perceived threat of Islamist attacks in Germany, most said they are likely but few planned to alter their lifestyle out of fear.

The separate YouGov poll found 75 percent think an attack is likely. But only 14 per cent said they had avoided getting onto a bus or a train because of those worries in the last three months.

The survey showed that about half of Germans surveyed online use public transportation on a regular basis. Additional survey returns showed that 14 percent of respondents said they were so worried about terrorism they would skip attending a concert or festival.

However, significantly more than half said they wouldn't let such worries influence them. Tellingly, some 26 percent said they didn't like going to large-scale events anyway, and, overall, 67 percent said they would continue moving freely in open spaces.

These views are drawn from a survey commissioned for the DPA news agency, polling 2,061 people online between July 27 and 29.

Infografik Flüchtlinge in Deutschland Englisch

jar/rc (YouGov, dpa)