EUROPE – Worries over Trump shoot to top of German fear ranking

Andre Wendt, member of parliament in Germany’s eastern state of Saxony made waves in early 2016 with an inquiry into how far the state covers the cost of sterilizing unaccompanied refugee minors. Thousands of unaccompanied minors have sought asylum in Germany, according to the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees (BumF) – the vast majority of them young men.

Angela Merkel, head in hands, with Donald Trump (picture-alliance/AP Photo/NTB Scanpix/T. Meek)
More than two-thirds of Germans — or 69 percent — are extremely concerned that US President Donald Trump’s policies are having a dangerous impact worldwide, according to the annual survey “The fears of Germans” by the R+V Infocenter.
“Trump’s ruthless ‘America First’ politics, his aggression in regard to international arrangements and his equally aggressive trade and security policies, even towards allied countries, scare the majority of the population,” said Manfred G. Schmidt, a professor at Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg and a consultant for R+V Infocenter.
BERLIN (Reuters) (aiwa.press/)//Concern over the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump has shot to the top of an annual ranking of Germans’ biggest fears, easily outstripping worries about refugees and terrorism, a survey showed on Thursday.

The “Fears of the Germans” survey from R+V Versicherung showed that 69 percent are worried that Trump is making the world a more dangerous place with his policies, which have included withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord.

That compared to 63 percent who expressed fear that Germany risked being overwhelmed by refugees and 59 percent who listed terrorism as a top concern, down sharply from 71 percent last year.

“Trump’s brutal ‘America First’ stance, his hostility to international agreements and his aggressive trade and security policies, including towards allies, are frightening a majority of the population,” said Manfred Schmidt, a political scientist in Heidelberg who advises R+V on the survey.

“Trump’s attacks on Germany are having a growing impact on sentiment,” he added, referring to the president’s frequent verbal assaults on Germany’s trade surplus and relatively low levels of defence spending.

Among other concerns in the survey, 57 percent of Germans expressed fear about political extremism and 56 percent said they were worried about natural catastrophes.

20171121 Andre Wendt

AFD LEADER, ONE OF HIS MOST OFFENSIVE REMARKS

Andre Wendt

The member of parliament in Germany’s eastern state of Saxony made waves in early 2016 with an inquiry into how far the state covers the cost of sterilizing unaccompanied refugee minors. Thousands of unaccompanied minors have sought asylum in Germany, according to the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees (BumF) – the vast majority of them young men.

The survey of roughly 2,400 Germans was conducted in June and July, before far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz following the fatal stabbing of a German man, allegedly by two migrants, drew worldwide attention. Terrorism had topped the fears ranking in the previous two years. In the five years prior to that, the top concern had been the cost of the euro crisis for German taxpayers.

The 2018 survey was released a day after an anonymous senior official in the Trump administration penned a column in the New York Times describing the president as amoral and unmoored, and detailing how members of his team are thwarting parts of his agenda in order to protect the United States.

Earlier this week, excerpts of a new book by veteran Watergate reporter Bob Woodward painted a picture of chaos in the White House and disdain among top aides over how the president is doing his job.

 

Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Gareth Jones

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Crimson Tazvinzwa

GRADUATE STUDENT: MASTERS OF LAWS, DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY, http://dmu.ac.uk/ SCHOOL OF BUSINESS & LAWS, LEICESTER.

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