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Most Germans happy with coronavirus crisis mgt. – Survey:

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Most Germans on Friday expressed satisfaction with their government’s management of the coronoavirus crisis, two months after the country announced its first case, a poll has found.

The survey, carried out for dpa by the pollster YouGov, found that 54 per cent of the more than 2,000 respondents had a rather positive view of the actions taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Based on the survey, 13 per cent of them expressed satisfaction with the way government had been managing the situation so far.

However, 38 per cent of respondents declared themselves rather unsatisfied, while eight per cent did not respond.

The Bavarian Health Ministry confirmed Germany’s first coronavirus case on Jan. 27.

The country has now recorded more than 43,000 infections and more than 260 deaths.

The government has implemented unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the virus, for instance by reducing contacts between its citizens.

The Bundesrat upper house of parliament is scheduled to vote on Friday on an emergency budget financing a coronavirus aid package to help citizens and businesses in Germany weather the crisis.

It is the final approval needed for the 156-billion-euro (or 172-billion-dollar) package, which was already passed by the lower house on Wednesday.

It include aid for businesses and health services, as well as funds to cover an expected drop in tax revenues as the pandemic takes its toll on Europe’s largest economy.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

Yahaya Isah: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Three quarters of Germans avoid cash payments during COVID-19 crisis

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Around 75 percent of people in Germany tried to avoid payments with cash “as much as possible” during the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey published by the digital association Bitkom on Friday.

Almost as many Germans, or 71 percent, would like more options for contactless payments, showed the survey sampled on more than 1,000 people aged 16 and over.

“There is hardly any other behavior pattern that has been changed by the coronavirus to the same extent as paying at the checkout,” said Bitkom President Achim Berg. Contactless payment by card or smartphone was “not only hygienic, but also fast and secure.”

The wish for more contactless payment options could be “observed across all generations,” Bitkom noted. More than three in four younger Germans wanted better cashless payment options, while 62 percent of senior Germans aged over 65 would like to see an improvement.

Burkhard Balz, a member of the executive board of Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, told the German editorial network (RND) in early May, that around 43 percent of Germans had changed their payment behavior at the checkout in recent weeks.

Of those German citizens who had changed their payment method, 68 percent had switched to more frequently using contactless payment by card, according to an online survey by Bundesbank.

(XINHUA)

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Coronavirus lockdown boosts digitization among younger Germans: survey

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Forty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in Germany used video phone calls for the very first time during the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey published by the price comparison website Verivox on Monday.

The use of a webcam was new for 20 percent of German citizens between 18 and 29 years old, according to the survey, for which 1,000 people were interviewed in April. Around 18 percent of younger Germans also listened to a podcast for the very first time during the coronavirus lockdown.

“The use of digital services in Germany is expandable in all age groups,” said Eugen Ensinger, Verivox telecommunications expert. “This is particularly surprising among the younger generation, who are said to be living a completely digitalized everyday life.”

Verivox noted that “obviously the lockdown has caused a digitalization push for many younger people.” Some 32 percent took part in a virtual fitness training for the first time and 21 percent watched a concert without an audience for the first time.

“Some young people also broke new digital ground in their professional environment,” Verivox said, noting that 25 percent attended a webinar for the first time and 18 percent attended an after-work meeting with colleagues.

More than half of the young people in Germany want to use their mobile phones more often than before the contact ban. Almost 60 percent said they were keen to use more video calls in the future.

Since the coronavirus crisis, the number of telephone calls in Germany had doubled, according to Verivox. The results of the survey would indicate “that the increased usage could be sustainable,” said Ensinger.

(XINHUA)

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Over half of Germans support fully opening borders to EU countries soon: survey

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Fifty-five percent of Germans wanted borders between countries of the European Union (EU) to be fully open again, according to a Politbarometer survey published by the German public broadcaster ZDF on Friday.

At the same time, 41 percent of German citizens were against opening the EU borders completely again soon and only four percent were undecided about this matter, according to the survey among more than 1,200 German voters.

The Ministry of the Interior announced on Wednesday that controls at the border with Luxembourg would end on Friday. Starting Saturday, controls at German borders with three neighboring countries — France, Switzerland and Austria — will be relaxed, but not yet fully discontinued.

There would be a “significant relaxation and simplification” at the borders, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said. By mid-June, border controls should be returned to normal levels if the development of COVID-19 infection numbers allows it.

With regard to the summer holiday plans, 51 percent of Germans polled stated that the COVID-19 crisis was affecting their plans, while 33 percent had no holiday plans.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is planning to discuss with his colleagues from popular destinations for Germans, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, on how travel restrictions could be gradually eased, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported on Friday.

The survey found that 66 percent of Germans supported the government’s coronavirus measures now in force, while 17 percent said the measures were “exaggerated” and 15 percent felt the measures were “too weak.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced last week that first COVID-19 restrictions in Germany would be eased while minimum social distance and hygiene rules continue to apply. For example, all shops in Germany were allowed to reopen again under new regulations for hygiene as well as access and queue control.

In addition, 53 percent of Germans believed there would be a second COVID-19 wave in the coming months, while 43 did not share the view.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) again emphasized the importance of hygiene and distance rules. “If we all behave reasonable and avoid infection, we have a chance of avoiding a second wave,” said RKI vice president Lars Schaade earlier this week.

(XINHUA)

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New poll shows most Germans not ready to end COVID-19 lockdowns 

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Just more than half of Germans would like the current restrictions put in place to control the spread of the novel coronavirus to remain in effect, according to the results of a new poll.

Of those polled, 56 per cent said they were sceptical of plans to lift the measures, which have kept Germans from congregating in groups and kept many businesses shuttered, although certain areas of public life have gradually reopened in recent weeks.

Forty per cent said they would like to see a further loosening of the guidelines in the coming weeks.

Three per cent say they “did not know,” while one per cent gave no response.

Those who wanted to see the guidelines loosened tended to say they support Germany’s pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) or the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The poll queried 1,034 people on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was conducted by infratest-dimap for Deutschland Trend, run by public broadcaster ARD.

The margin of error lies between 1.4 and 3.1 per cent.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Nearly half of Germans support gov’t decision to ease coronavirus restrictions

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A survey published by the German public broadcaster ZDF on Friday showed that 47 percent of Germans said that easing of the coronavirus restrictions which had been decided by the government this week was “just right.”

Eleven percent of Germans thought easing restrictions should have been done earlier, while 38 percent thought that the decision by the government was too early, according to the Politbarometer survey among more than 1,200 Germans.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the coronavirus restrictions in Germany would be eased while minimum social distancing and hygiene rules would continue to apply.

Contact restriction on people within the same household had been eased. People from two households, such as two families, two couples or members of shared flats, were now allowed to meet each other.

According to the survey, 67 percent of Germans supported the relaxation of contact restrictions, while only 16 percent said the decision was made too early.

More than half of Germans supported the reopening of gastronomy, while 26 percent said to re-open gastronomy was too early, according to the survey.

Overall, a clear majority of 81 percent was satisfied with the work of the government in the coronavirus crisis, according to the survey.

(XINHUA)

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Germans spent more than $5bn on their pets in 2019

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Germans are spending increasing sums on their pets, with the total rising to more than 5.4 billion dollars (5 billion euros) in 2019, figures reported on Wednesday by the relevant trade associations showed.

High street retail pet shops turned over 4.3 billion euros, up some 2.4 per cent on the year, while the online market was good for 705 million euros plus 125 million euros for feeding wild birds.

Cat food formed the largest segment, rising 1.2 per cent to almost 1.6 billion euros while Dog food took second place at 1.5 billion euros, up 4.2 per cent on the year in high street sales.

Cats remain the most popular pet, according to a survey.

The country has 14.7 million pet cats, followed by 10.1 million dogs and 5.2 million small animals.

Some 45 per cent of households keep pets, if birds, fish and animals kept in glass cases are taken into account, the survey found.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Merkel leaves quarantine, asks Germans to stay at home over Easter 

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Germans to remain at home over the upcoming Easter holiday, saying it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for when restrictions on public life would end.

“We will all experience a very different Easter than ever before,” Merkel said in a video message posted late on Friday, in her first remarks to the nation since herself leaving quarantine.

Contrary to their usual traditions, Germans must continue to forgo all social contact over the Easter holiday, the chancellor said in her weekly podcast, in order to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum.

While for many Germans Easter meant going to church, spending time with family, friends or relatives, Merkel said: “But not this year.”

Describing current restrictions as “vital,” she said it would be “irresponsible” to give a date for them to be eased or lifted.

The current rules will remain in place until at least April 19.

Germans have been banned from meeting in groups of more than two people.

Restaurants, theatres, cinemas, bars and children’s play areas are closed, along with many shops.

Speaking hours after she returned to her office after two weeks of home quarantine, Merkel sought to reassure viewers her government was doing everything it could to see the nation through a testing time.

Her comments came after it emerged the German government was working on a series of new measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now the work continues from the chancellery,” with social-distancing measures in place, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said of Merkel’s return.

She went into quarantine on March 22, two days after she had contact with a doctor who then tested positive for the coronavirus.

She herself tested negative three times.

The government has ordered all citizens to stay at home when possible and stick to social-distancing rules to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

It has also restricted access to the country and provided aid for hard-hit citizens and businesses.

Another large aid programme is now in the works to prevent bankruptcies among small and medium-sized firms, sources told dpa on Friday.

The measures being discussed include temporarily offering state guarantees as collateral for loans to medium-sized companies.

This could see the German state take over guarantees totalling up to 300 billion euros (324 billion dollars).

The new programme was expected to be finalised by the economy and finance ministries at the weekend, after the European Commission gave the green light on Friday.

The German economy has been struggling to absorb the shock of the coronavirus crisis.

Almost every fifth company is at threat of bankruptcy, according to a survey carried out by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

“This includes tens of thousands of medium-sized companies that had been very healthy so far and do not get knocked over so easily,” DIHK president Eric Schweitzer told dpa, warning that not much time is left to avoid an “unprecedented wave of bankruptcies.”

Some sectors were already suffering before the virus hit, with the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) reporting on Friday that orders fell in February by 4 per cent in real terms compared to the same month last year.

“The money must flow quickly to cushion the crisis,” VDMA executive director Thilo Brodtmann said in a statement.

German officials will on Monday also discuss the possibility of introducing more border controls and a quarantine obligation for all people arriving on flights, according to a report by the Spiegel news magazine.

The measures already introduced by Germany are having a measurable effect, the government agency for disease control and prevention said.

For a few days now, a person infected with the new coronavirus in Germany has, on average, been infecting only one other person, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

In previous weeks, that number had been at five, sometimes even seven.

But the new data does not yet justify an all-clear, RKI president Lothar Wieler said: “We have to get under one (person being infected by another on average). I hope this will happen in the coming days.”

By Friday night, more than 85,100 infections and at least 1,150 deaths had been reported in Germany, according to a dpa tally based on state data.

YEE

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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New Zealand coronavirus repatriation flight for Germans takes off

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The first Air New Zealand flight to repatriate stranded German nationals has departed from New Zealand, Air New Zealand senior pilot said on Friday.

The senior pilot, Captain David Morgan, stressed that the plane, carrying up to 342 people, left Auckland on Friday, headed for Frankfurt via Vancouver.

According to him, the Boeing 777-300 is expected to land at Frankfurt Airport on Saturday.

Morgan added that further repatriation flights would depart from Auckland and Christchurch airports in the coming days.

He said detailed plans were in place to ensure passengers returned home safely.

“We are pleased to be able to help the German government to safely bring its people home.

“Our teams have quickly mobilised a schedule with daily flights scheduled through to April 8 and more to come,” Morgan said.

He said that the airline was grateful for the support of German and Canadian officials.

“Naturally the well-being of our passengers and crew is Air New Zealand’s top priority.

“We are incredibly grateful for the measures put in place by the New Zealand government to ensure the safe departure of foreign nationals from our shores.

“Air New Zealand is working with several other governments on requests for repatriation charters,’’ Morgan said.

The German Embassy in Wellington said over 12,000 Germans had registered for the repatriation programme.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Isaac Aregbesola
(NAN)

 

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Official: Infections could reach 10m if Germans don’t act

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  Germany could be dealing with 10 million coronavirus infections in the coming months if its citizens do not adhere to measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, the country’s top disease control official said on Wednesday.

“We have an exponential development in the epidemic,” Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute, said in Berlin.

He appealed to Germany’s some 83 million people to limit contact with others.

While Germany has not yet ordered the lockdown measures seen in Italy and France, the government earlier this week issued a raft of orders aimed at drastically scaling back public life.

This included the closure of bars, sports clubs and leisure facilities, while religious gatherings are banned. Almost all schools have been closed.

After chairing an emergency cabinet meeting in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel is to update the nation on measures responding to the crisis in a pre-recorded televised statement, to be aired at at 8:15 pm (1915 GMT) by the ZDF public broadcaster.

The Robert Koch Institute, a government agency, said on Wednesday that almost 8,200 cases of infection have now been confirmed, up by over 1,000 compared to the previous day.

In Europe, tallies put Germany behind only Italy and Spain in the number of total infections.

Experts in Germany say the virus could infect 60-70 per cent of the population, meaning 50 million-58 million people.

The government measures are not aimed at stopping the outbreak – this is now impossible – but rather at slowing the spread in order to prevent the country’s health facilities from becoming overwhelmed.

Wieler has called for the capacity of intensive care facilities in German hospitals to be doubled to cope with the pandemic.

It is unclear how long the German government’s nationwide restrictions will remain in place and indeed whether Merkel will announce even more draconian measures.

Wielar said he finds it “realistic” that a vaccine for the virus will be available by early next year.

The outbreak reached Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) this week, with Friedrich Merz, a candidate for the party leadership ahead of elections next year, having confirmed on Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus.

The following day, he tweeted that his “flu symptoms have become slightly stronger,” while thanking health workers and his well-wishers.

Meanwhile, Olaf Scholz, Merkel’s deputy and finance minister, tweeted that he would be working from home after waking up with a “heavy cold.”

He would take a test for the virus as a precaution, he added.

The German government has warned its citizens against all foreign travel.

Meanwhile, around 21,000 foreigners have been turned away at the country’s borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark since the introduction of strict controls this week, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said.

The German Foreign Office has launched a major “airlift” operation to bring home German tourists stranded abroad, estimated to number over 100,000.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

 

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Germans stock up on soup sachets as coronavirus fears grow

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Data from a major research institute discovered that Germans had been increasingly filling their cupboards with instant soup in preparation ahead of what they consider a potential health crisis.

According to the research released on Friday, the soup is particularly popular for weathering a potential health crisis as the new coronavirus spreads in their country.

The GfK reported that revenues from the sales of dry soup mixes has doubled, rising by 112 per cent.

GfK expert Robert Kecskes said “we don’t have spikes like this anywhere else.’’

Boosted sales were also noted with tinned fish and fruit, both up 70 per cent, while there was a 73-per-cent rise in dried pasta revenues and 80 per cent for tinned vegetables.

The GfK said the sales, attributed to panic-buying amid fears of consumers having to self-quarantine in an effort to avoid the disease, led to a 14-per-cent boost for German food retailing in general.

Kecskes said while the situation may be proving beneficial for supermarkets and grocery stores for now, challenges may come later.

He said should the fears subside in the coming weeks, shoppers’ appetite for fresh produce will return, adding: “However, if fears of quarantine at home remain high, an increase in demand for fresh products will be delayed.’’

Kecskes added that the uncertainty will therefore make it difficult for retailers to put their orders in for goods.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Germans still keen to know how they were spied on by the Stasi

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German, on Wednesday said more than 56,000 people submitted applications in 2019 to see files collected by the Stasi secret police, who spied on citizens in former communist East Germany.

According to the Stasi Records Agency, authorities received 11,200 more applications than in 2018. Approximately 35,500 people had submitted a request for the first time.

Since the agency was first launched at the end of 1990, approximately 3.3 million individual applications have been made to view Stasi files. An additional 3.4 million requests were made by public and non-public bodies.

However, some 37,000 applications were submitted by researchers and the media.

Meanwhile, the agency had so far received about 7.3 million applications and requests in total since it was founded.

The Stasi operated a large-scale spying network, with tens of thousands of officers and some 170,000 informants keeping tabs on the East German population and selected others from abroad.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah

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Germans urged to consume less to protect climate

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President of the German federal parliament, Wolfgang Schaeuble, on Tuesday urged Germans to cut back on their consumption for climate protection.

In an interview with the German newspaper, Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung, Schaeuble said “Climate protection is not for free,’’ and warned against promoting recent climate reforms to citizens as a social benefit.

On Dec 20,the Germany’s upper house of parliament finally approved a package of climate laws seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The major reform includes several measures such as higher prices for heating and fuel through taxing carbon emissions, fewer taxes on long-distance train journeys and financial incentives to better insulate buildings.

“We will have to change our lives,’’ said the president, noting that some privileges like flying to the Maldives or visiting Venice should be used more sparingly in the future.

Schaeuble was optimistic that the transition to a more environmentally responsible life could be achieved. “We have overcome much greater challenges in history,’’ he said.

Edited by: Halima Sheji/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

 

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Germans ignorant of sources of everyday radiation, dangers — Survey

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Germans are in general ignorant of the most important sources of everyday radiation and fail to assess the dangers accordingly, according to a survey conducted by the BfS state authority for radiation protection published on Wednesday.

As many as 73.9 per cent of those surveyed said they were “fairly” or “very” concerned about radiation from nuclear power stations.

Radiation from mobile communications masts drew a similar response from 51.4 per cent.

Mobile phones and tablets were a source of concern to 51 per cent.

But only 23 per cent were worried about environmental radon, even though the gas forms the largest average source of radiation over the year and is the second-most frequent cause of lung cancer after smoking.

According to the BfS, the gas, which has no smell or taste, is responsible for around 5 per cent of all deaths from lung cancer.

The authority urged people to ventilate their rooms frequently to avoid a build-up of the chemically inert gas.

“The study shows that risks from nuclear power are overestimated and the danger from radon underestimated by the population,’’ BfS President Inge Paulini said.

But the widespread notion that radiation from mobile phones could cause genetic damage was false, she said.

(Edited & Vetted By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel
(NAN)

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Survey: Far-right AfD will come third if Germans voted in October

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Survey

Berlin, 0ct. 8, 2019 The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), the party would come third if elections were held in the country in October, a new survey conducted by the Insa institute for the mass-circulation Bild newspaper found.

With 16 per cent, the AfD fared better among voters than the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), currently in a coalition government with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian sister party, CSU.

According to the results published on Tuesday, 13 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the SPD.

The CDU/CSU bloc was in first place with 27 per cent followed by the Greens with 21 per cent, an increase of 0.5 per cent point for the conservatives and a drop of one per cent for the Greens.

The hard-left Die Linke (The Left) party achieved nine per cent and pro-business Free Democratic Party 8.5 per cent, both gaining ground.

A total of 2,059 German citizens participated in the survey between Oct. 4, and Oct. 7.

They were asked who they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Edited by Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Poll finds more than half of Germans think democracy is in danger

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More than half of Germans think that democracy in their country is under threat, with the rise of right-wing extremism causing much of the concern, according to a YouGov poll.
Fifty-three per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that democracy is in danger, the results of the survey, released on Thursday, showed.
It was supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, who most feared for democracy, at 79 per cent in that group.
The party, which has made major gains in German politics in recent years and is currently the largest opposition party in the Bundestag parliament, often complains of unfair treatment by the media and other politicians.
Right-wing extremists topped the list of perceived threats to democracy at 47 per cent, followed by right-wing populists and migrants in joint-second place at 27 per cent.
Left-wing extremism and the U.S. were also causes for concern, with 22 per cent of participants in the survey seeing those factors as threats.
YouGov Germany interviewed 2,020 people from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1 in the representative study, which was carried out ahead of the International Day of Democracy on Sept. 15.
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Edited by Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed

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Germans have fewer fears, worries — Survey

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, Germans are “significantly more optimistic” than a year before and as “relaxed” as they were 25 years ago, according to a survey.

The survey conducted by the German Insurer R+V and presented on Thursday, said: “The mood in Germany has improved.

“Due to a decline in almost all concerns, the fear index, the average of all fears surveyed, is falling from 47 per cent to 39 per cent and thus reaches its lowest value since 1994,” said Brigitte Roemsted, head of the R+V InfoCenter, at the presentation.

However, the overall improvement in sentiment should not obscure the fact that the “current political problems would cause considerable concern to more than one in two German citizens.

“For four years now, political concerns have been suppressing all other fears.

“The focus here is on overburdening politicians and threatening social tensions,”  the insurer stated.

According to R+V, the greatest fear among Germans (56 per cent) was that the government would be overwhelmed by the large number of refugees.

However, the figure had fallen from 63 per cent last year.

The second most common concern among Germans, at 55 per cent, was that the continued immigration to Germany would lead to tensions between Germans and migrants, who already live in Germany.

According to the survey, almost as many Germans are concerned about the state of foreign policy.

Traditionally, Germans also fear that their own politicians are overburdened by their tasks.

At 47 per cent, this fear came in fourth place this year, but had 14 percentage points below the previous year’s figure.

“That the harsh verdict of respondents on the politicians in 2019 has eased is due to the fact that the endlessly long formation of the government after the 2017 federal elections had been completed,” commented Manfred Schmidt, political scientist at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg.

For the first time, unaffordable housing appeared in the “Fears of Germans 2019” rankings.

According to the survey, almost every second citizen is very afraid that housing in Germany would become unaffordable.

Respondents were particularly relaxed about their own economic situation.

Only around one in four said they feared to lose their job.

According to R+V, this figure has never been so low since the survey started in 1992.

R+V contacts around 2,400 Germans of 14 years and older every year, asking them about their greatest political, economic, personal and ecological fears. (Xinhua/NAN)

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(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Poll: Germans want Merkel to stay in office until end of 2021

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(dpa/NAN) Almost three quarters of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to remain in office up to the end of her term in 2021, according to a poll conducted by the national public broadcaster, ZDF, published on Thursday.

The chancellor was particularly popular among members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), 88 per cent of whom are happy for her to see out her fourth term, while a surprising 85 per cent of supporters of the Green opposition party take the same view.

According to the ZDF poll, support for Merkel’s broad coalition, which includes the Social Democratic Party (SPD) as junior partner, has risen, with 62 per cent, saying that it was doing good work, up from 50 per cent in August.

A separate poll by rival public broadcaster ARD came to a radically different outcome, with 67 per cent dissatisfied with the coalition government’s performance.

Nevertheless, the ARD poll found that 61 per cent believed that the coalition should continue to the end of its term.

ZDF’s Politbarometer put current support for the CDU, along with its Bavarian sister-party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), on 28 per cent, followed by the Greens on 24 per cent.

The SPD came in at 15 per cent, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) at 13, the hard-left Die Linke at seven and the liberal FDP at six per cent.

Merkel’s successor as the head of the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, fared poorly.

The ZDF poll found 71 per cent doubting her ability to lead the party, and in the ARD poll, 66 per cent expressed dissatisfaction with her performance. (dpa/NAN)
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Edited by Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Four Germans among the dead in Mallorca plane-helicopter crash

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The foreign office declined to disclose details.

The Germans, who were killed, were identified in media reports as a family from Munich.

The German tabloid, Bild, spoke of a couple and their two children aged nine and 11.

The helicopter pilot was reportedly Italian.

The two people on the light plane were described as a man from Valencia and his male friend, Spanish broadcaster RTVE reported.

What caused the accident, which happened in the early afternoon, near the town of Inca, was not known.

Both the ultralight aircraft and the helicopter burst into flames.

No-one survived the accident.

“We are concerned and horrified by the accident,’’ Francina Armengol, the President of the Balearic Islands, tweeted earlier.

“Our thoughts are with the victims.’’

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, also sent his condolences for the victims’ families.

Local people rushed to the crash site after hearing a loud bang.

Police and fire services were called to the scene, as the plane went up in flames, reports said.

Parts of the helicopter were strewn across an old country road, and the plane had crashed onto the grounds of a country estate, Sebastia Oriol, Head of Security for the municipality of Incam, told local broadcaster, IB3.

The company that runs the helicopter tours for tourists, Rotorflug Helicopters, confirmed the crash.

“The cause of the accident is still completely unclear,’’ the company, which is based near Frankfurt in Germany, said in a press statement.

“The German Federal Aviation Office (LBA) and the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation have already been informed by Rotorflug,’’ the statement added.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Majority of Germans consider Brits untrustworthy — Survey

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The survey was commissioned by public broadcaster ARD-Tagesthemen.

Only 37 per cent of Germans surveyed said Brits could be trusted – a 17-point decrease since February, German public broadcaster WDR said.

The survey also found that 59 per cent of participants thought Germany should not trust Great Britain any more.

It also found that 67 per cent expected the relationship between Britain and the European Union (EU) to become worse now that Boris Johnson has been appointed as prime minister.

When looking at the political affiliations of the participants, supporters of the pro-business FDP (88 per cent), the Greens (79 per cent), the hard-left Die Linke (77 per cent), and the Social Democrats (73 per cent) were most likely to think that relations between Great Britain and the EU would deteriorate under Johnson.

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Majority of Germans repay debt on time

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Debt

This, it said, was a slight increase compared to the previous year and the highest value during the last 10 years.

The high percentage of Germans who repaid their loans showed that “Germany’s consumers act was very responsibly in financial matters,’’ said Michael Freytag, leader of Schufa.

Germany’s youngest borrowers repaid their credits on time, with an above average value of 98.3 per cent, which was a pleasing development, according to Schufa.

The data from Germany’s largest credit bureau contradicted the assumption that young people “would not be able to deal with loan obligations’’.

In total, around 18.4 million installment loans were outstanding in Germany in 2018, slightly more than in 2017.

In addition, “the trend towards higher loan sums continues,’’ according to Schufa.

The average amount of a newly concluded loan was around 11,140 euros (12,545 U.S. dollars) in 2018, an increase of 8.5 percent.

German consumers were most likely to use installment credit for the purchase of cars, furniture and electronic appliances, according to Schufa.

At the same time, German consumer sentiment experienced a slight setback in June, Germany’s largest market research institute GfK announced last week.

Edited by Halima Sheji

 

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