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Albanians being repatriated from the Kassel Airport. Responding to public sentiments ahead of general polls in September, Germany has increased the rate of deportations of rejected asylum seekers since the beginning of the year / Photo: DW

Opinion poll: Germans say No to more refugees

A new study has revealed that a majority of Germans do not approve of their country taking in more asylum seekers. The country took in around 890,000 refugees in 2015.

According to a representative survey conducted by the Bertelsmann foundation, 54 per cent of the respondents said Germany had reached the limit as far as accepting asylum seekers was concerned. In 2015, the same survey showed 40 per cent of people holding this opinion.

“Many think a breaking point has been reached – the willingness to take in more refugees has diminished significantly,” the study said.

However, the report showed that Germans were still welcoming towards refugees in principle. Speaking to Deutsche Welle (DW), migration expert at the Bertelsmann foundation, Ulrich Kober, said “I think it is very significant to see that that there still exists a robust welcoming culture in Germany after two years of extraordinary immigration of refugees.”

The researchers say that Germany’s “Welcoming culture” has passed the first “stress test,” but that some scepticism has emerged. 74 per cent of the survey’s participants said they were open to immigrants but 59 per cent said they were unable to accept more refugees.

The refugee crisis and immigration have become big issues of debate for Germans, who will go to polls later this year. Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire for her famous statement “Wir schaffen das” – German for “we can do it” in 2015, when she opened the country’s borders to refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

With InfoMigrants/DW/dpa reports

LEBARA

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