German willingness to receive foreigners is eroding

Willkommenskultur im „Stresstest“The wave of refugees welcomed into Germany in recent years (over a million) seems to some extent to have worn out the traditional German predisposition to welcome in outsiders.

The results of a survey published recently [1]shed a great deal of light on the matter in question in Germany, especially if we compare these with those of surveys carried out in 2012 and 2015. First, it must be said that even now willingness to welcome in outsiders is predominant. There are, however, differences between the attitude towards refugees and the one towards immigrants. The latter are still seen as positive by most (74% of the population in the western Länders and 53% in the east). With refugees, the situation begins change, especially in the east where only 33% of those interviewed took a positive view. In the west 65% still regard refugees to be welcome in the country.

In the case of refugees there appears a criticism of the other members of the European Union who have not accepted anywhere near the number of refugees that Germany has. This is a factor which has been a great source od disappointment to the German people.

Symptoms of fatigue are clearly evident. Most of the population (54%) believe that Germany’s ability to welcome in refugees is at its limit and only of two of every five would be prepared to accept more for humanitarian reasons. Most Germans think that refugees should be authorised to work much more rapidly than is the case at the moment. They also feel that all member states of the Union should have a specific number of refugees that they should be obliged to accept. Those who think that refugees are in a temporary situation and therefore the government should not make any effort to integrate them account for less than a quarter of those interviewed.

At this moment, only the youngest (between 14 and 29) feel (by a narrow majority), that Germany should continue to accept refugees for humanitarian reasons. Other age groups are mostly not in favour of continuing to accept refuges. In general, the perception of the advantages provided by the incoming population has decreased and the drawbacks are now more visible.

[1] https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/Projekte/28_Einwanderung_und_Vielfalt/IB_Umfrage_Willkommenskultur_2017.pdf

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