Germany: Merkel's popularity rising, anti-refugee populists losing favor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is enjoying her highest ratings since the beginning of the refugee "crisis". A total of 59 % of Germans are assessing her work positively, the highest rating since last September.
A survey by the "Infratest dimap" company for the ARD television station and the German daily Die Welt released its findings on 8 July. According to the poll, the debate on the benefits of the European Union that has been held in connection with the UK's so-called Brexit referendum in June has contributed to the rise in Merkel's popularity.
Compared to June, Merkel's popularity has risen by nine percentage points. During that same period, people's convictions regarding the profitability of Germany's EU membership were also boosted - while earlier in June 39 % of Germans said they were convinced of the benefits of membership, after the UK referendum was held 52 % of Germans said they were convinced EU membership is beneficial.
Merkel is strongly advocating for the continuation of the European project despite the fact that London will step aside from it now. Her conservative union of the CDU/CSU is also benefiting from the growing support for her.
If elections were to be held today, 34 % of Germans would vote for her, two percentage points more than in June. The Social Democrats (SPD), who are in coalition with Merkel, also earned one percentage point, raising to 22 % the number of voters who would choose them.
The opposition Greens and the Left have the same amount of support as one month ago, with the Greens at 13 % and the Left at 9 % voter support. On the other hand, the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which defines itself as against EU membership and against immigrants, is losing favor.
That party would now be chosen by 12 % of voters, three percentage points fewer than a month ago. According to the authors of the survey, that result was determined by the debate on the British referendum, in which Germans began to make their support for the EU more apparent.
Satisfaction with EU membership does not mean, however, that Germans assess the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. positively. According to the poll, only 38 % of respondents are satisfied with his work.
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