Germans' trust in their state has never been lower: Survey

Germans' trust in their state has never been lower: Survey

Only 27% of Germans still believe that state is capable of fulfilling its tasks, says survey

By Timo Kirez

GENEVA (AA) - Germans' trust in the state has never been so low, according to a citizens' survey conducted by the German Civil Service Association (DBB).

Only 27% of the citizens still believe that the state is capable of performing its duties. Germans see their state as overstretched above all in asylum and refugee policy, education policy and climate and environmental policy, according to the survey, which was published late Tuesday.

All government services and institutions surveyed received worse performance grades in 2023 than in the previous year.

"The confidence of citizens in the ability of their state to act has thus fallen to a new low. This is alarming," DBB Federal Chairman Ulrich Silberbach told a news conference in Berlin.

In the view of respondents in 2023, the most important tasks of the state are maintaining social justice, improving infrastructure and climate protection.

In the west of Germany, climate protection, migration issues and support for Ukraine are seen as the most important tasks of the state, while in the east of Germany it is the relief of the population from the consequences of inflation, social equalization and the equalization of living conditions between urban and rural areas.

"Particularly worrying in this regard is the division of society that is becoming increasingly apparent," Silberbach continued. He added: "The rifts between East and West, poor and rich, according to educational attainment are getting deeper and the social stress level is rising."

According to the survey, 80% of respondents state a general brutalization of society. Another 26% have witnessed assaults on public employees. Some 54% of public employees have themselves been insulted, threatened or physically assaulted.

"This is a completely unacceptable figure! Public sector employees are paying the bill for the general loss of reputation of the state, not only in the police and emergency services, but also in schools, job centers and citizens' offices," said Silberbach.

In this context, Silberbach also voiced clear criticism of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. "There is someone in the Chancellor's Office who has said, 'whoever orders leadership from me will get it.' That doesn't seem to have sunk in yet with the citizens," he said.

The DBB has the survey on the reputation of the civil service conducted annually. This year, according to its own information, a total of 2,008 representatively selected citizens were surveyed online in June 2023.

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