Friday, April 26, 2019

The rise of prejudice in Germany

Right-wing populist attitudes have become "normal" in Germany's mainstream, said authors of a new study presented by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

The latest study, conducted by a group of researchers from Bielefeld University, shows that a record 54.1% of the respondents across Germany now hold a negative view of asylum-seekers. 

The numbers are higher now than they were ahead of the refugee crisis in 2014, when 44% of Germans expressed concerns about the group. In 2016, after the peak of the migration wave, the survey showed 49.5% of people were negative about asylum-seekers.

According to the study presented on Thursday, these attitudes are more common in former East Germany, now home to less than a quarter of the country's population, where 63% were found to harbor such attitudes, while 51% did so in western Germany. 

The survey also shows that the level of prejudice has grown even as fewer people applied for asylum in Germany. Nearly one in every five Germans (19%) has a negative outlook on foreigners in general. The same percentage is critical towards Muslims, and even more (26%) view Sinti and Roma groups in a negative light.

"The center is losing its footing and its democratic orientation," researchers said. 

Bielefeld University researcher Wilhelm Berghan said that the majority of the participants praise democracy and democratic values. At the same time, many of them hold illiberal ideas about democracy and animosity towards asylum-seekers.

"A part of the population does not live up to their own values," Berghan said.

No comments: