A new poll shows that in the eastern German state of Saxony, two out of three residents believe Germany is “dangerously infested” with foreigners.
In the poll, known as the Saxony Monitor and conducted every year by the Saxon government, 64 percent are of the opinion that Germany is “dangerously infested with foreigners,” which is 24 percentage points more than two years ago.
It also found that 82 percent of residents of the state, which features Dresden as its capital, have little or no trust in the ruling left-liberal government, which represents a drop of 26 percent since the last poll conducted a year ago.
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With German state elections approaching in the state of Saxony in less than a year, the AfD holds a commanding lead
There are other signs that Saxons are increasingly distrustful of a variety of institutions, including the media, with only 15 percent saying they still trust the media, which is an 11-point drop since the last survey a year ago. Additionally, 79 percent have lost faith in churches, while the EU parliament and European Commission are not trusted by 80 percent of those surveyed. Eight-one percent have the opinion that most politicians only want people’s votes and 45 percent question whether the right to freedom of expression still exists in Germany.
However, 65 percent of Saxons have very high or great trust in the police, and 56 percent trust the courts.
There was also agreement with statements against the long-term unemployed (66 percent), Muslims (54 percent), Sinti and Roma (46 percent), and homosexuals (30 percent). Additionally, 18 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “Jews have too much power in the world.”
Despite negative portrayals of those in the east of Germany by the country’s media, including portrayals of post-communist easterners being dour and poor, the polling paints a different picture.
Eighty-six percent say they are proud of what has been achieved in Germany since 1990, the year the country was reunified, and 82 percent believe Saxony is on par with western German states. Additionally, 63 percent are rather optimistic about their own future, although this is a 10-point drop from the previous survey. Saxons are also quite positive about their own economic situation, with 72 percent describing it as very good or fairly good.
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Could this be a model for the national level?
Saxony is considered a stronghold of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) despite the party there being labeled as “right-wing extremist” by the top domestic spy agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). In fact, the party just tied its record high of 35 percent in the Infratest-dimap poll.
The latest poll was extremely important for the AfD, however, as it comes after a coordinated campaign between the government and media against the AfD, including the calling for mass protests against the party to “fight the right.” The campaign appears to have had little effect on sentiment towards the AfD in the east, and the Saxony Monitor’s results, which show a tremendous distrust of the government, media, and various institutions, show the limited options the government may have regarding influencing public opinion.