Most Germans believe their country can’t cope with any more immigrants or asylum seekers, according to a new study.
A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation think tank has concluded that, although a large majority of Germans still believe that immigrants and refugees are “welcome or very welcome” in their country, a majority also think the country had reached its limit.
Germany has accepted about one million foreign arrivals since 2015 because of a policy attributed to Angela Merkel, the Chancellor. It was drawn up hastily in the summer of 2015 to deal with the vast numbers of people from Africa and the Middle East trying to access Europe.
The new figures – published by the website thelocal.de – found that 70 percent of respondents to the study said that immigrants are welcome, with 59 percent saying the same of refugees.
However, the study also asked for people’s opinions on whether their country could take any more.
In 2015, 40 percent of respondents to this question said that Germany had then reached the point where it could take in no more refugees.
This year, that figure had jumped to 54 percent.
The report noted: “The willingness of Germans to take in more refugees has dropped significantly.”
The study also found a clear difference between the east and west of Germany in attitudes towards refugees.
Only 33 per cent of residents of the former East Germany said that Germans should welcome refugees “with open arms” – yet almost twice as many people (65 percent) said so in the former West Germany.