Germans ‘satisfied’ with course of country

Germans ‘satisfied’ with course of country

BERLIN - Reuters
Germans ‘satisfied’ with course of country Germans are far more satisfied with the direction of their country and less politically polarized than other European nations, a survey showed yesterday, underscoring why Angela Merkel is expected to win a new term as chancellor this month.

The survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed that 59 percent of Germans believe their country is headed in the right direction.

Some 77 percent say their personal economic situation has improved or stayed the same over the past two years, while 80 percent describe themselves as political centrists.

The results contrast with other European countries where dissatisfaction with the economy and political establishment has led to a surge in support for populist parties on the right and left in recent years.

By contrast, German voters seem keen for continuity. Merkel is widely expected to win a record-tying fourth term on Sept. 24, with polls showing her centre-right bloc 13-15 percentage points ahead of its closest rival, the Social Democrats (SPD).

"These findings point to a highly content and status quo oriented German society and contrast starkly with the situation elsewhere in Europe," the authors Catherine de Vries and Isabell Hoffmann said.

In Germany, just 13 percent of respondents described themselves as left or extreme left, and only 7 percent as right or extreme right.

The Bertelsmann survey was conducted in July and based on interviews with 10,755 Europeans in all EU member states.