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Survey suggests Germans are unhappy with Merkel

Survey suggests Germans are unhappy with Merkel

Germans are increasingly unhappy with Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, according to a study released Friday _ with yet more unpopular decisions expected as Germany struggles with a huge budget deficit.
The survey, offered by public broadcaster ARD, showed Merkel's popularity has plummeted by 10 points to 48 percent _ her worst showing since late 2006.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed by Infratest dimap this week, 58 percent said they thought the previous government of Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats would be better than the current coalition Merkel formed in October with the Free Democrats.
Merkel has been under pressure for months. Within Germany, critics noted that her new coalition so far has little to show for its efforts in the seven months since it took control, other than the unpopular Greek and euro rescue packages. On the international stage, Merkel has been criticized for dragging her feet on helping Greece.
The chancellor has already scrapped plans for promised tax cuts, but still faces a huge federal budget deficit. Her government is to decide on spending cuts and, possibly, even on tax hikes within the next 10 days.
The survey showed one of the biggest concerns for Germans is the financial crisis.
The number of Germans who believe the worst of the crisis is yet to come jumped from 56 percent to 75 percent, as compared with the previous month.
Another 54 percent said they expect their standard of living to slip, while 74 percent said they do not believe politicians are able to stand up to the financial markets.
Only 34 percent said Merkel's government has made the right decisions to counter the crisis.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4-3.1 percentage points.
The one member of Merkel's Cabinet who enjoys steady support is Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, with 61 percent of those surveyed applauding his work.
Guttenberg is also the only Cabinet member who has talked openly about severe cuts within his own ministry, saying (EURO)1 billion ($1.24 billion) might be trimmed from the budget, currently at (EURO)31 billion. He also said the number of troops serving in Germany's armed forces might be reduced from 250,000 to save money.
The survey also shows, however, that most Germans expect budget cuts will not be enough to solve the country's budget problems.
Of those polled, 64 percent said they expect tax hikes to be necessary.
Germany needs around (EURO)86 billion of new debts this year to finance its (EURO)328 billion budget. It recently changed the constitution to introduce a "debt break" saying the budget has to be balanced by 2016. The government says it needs to cut an annual (EURO)10 billion for the next five years to reach that goal.


Updated : 2021-08-05 11:24 GMT+08:00