Poll: German Citizens Lose Faith in Merkel's Refugee Policy

Thomas Murray | August 5, 2016
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German citizens seem to have lost faith in their chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her immigration policy after a string of terrorists attacks over the last month. While Germany has succeeded in avoiding the large-scale terrorist attacks that have rocked other European nations, they have not been entirely safe from harm, especially in this last few particularly bloody weeks.

In the most recent poll, which consisted of 1,003 participants and was conducted from August 1st-2nd, 65 percent claimed that they were dissatisfied with Merkel’s open door refugee policy, while a record low 34 percent claimed that they were either satisfied, or very satisfied, with her stance. This is the lowest public approval rate since the question first began to be asked last October.

Her overall approval rating has also plummeted, most likely due to the crumbling support of her refugee policy. In a recent survey for the public broadcaster ARD, Merkel’s approval rating dropped 12 point from her rating in July. She now stands at a 47 points. In comparison, Merkel had a solid approval rating of 75 points last April.

Merkel’s early August approval rating is her second lowest score since she was re-elected back in 2013.

Horst Seehofer, one of Merkel’s harshest critics, has received an 11 point jump in his approval ratings, and is now resting at a 44 approval rate. He has been a major proponent for placing restriction on immigration as a way of increasing security.

Merkel’s immigration policy has come under intense scrutiny due to a barrage attacks on the German people, three of which were carried out by refugees. The last three weeks in Germany have seen 15 people dead and left many more wounded.  

Two of those attacks were carried out by immigrants who had direct ties to ISIS. Recent findings show that both the teenager who injured passengers on a train in southern Germany and the man who detonated an explosive device outside a German music festival were in contact with a suspected ISIS soldier before their respective attacks.

In a press conference last week, Merkel declared that she would not back down from her immigration policy, saying that Germany would stick to its principles and continue to “give shelter to those who deserve it.”

“The terrorists want to make a lose sight of what is important to us, break down out cohesion and sense of community as well as inhibiting our way of life, our openness and our willingness to take in people who are in need,” Merkel explained.

She finally declared that Germany would be able to overcome the obstacles presented by the more than 1.1 million migrants he country had welcomed in. The German people do not seem to agree.