German population losing faith in government's handling of coronavirus

German population losing faith in government's handling of coronavirus

Overall satisfaction with the way the government is handling coronavirus in Germany is falling, a new survey has shown. Almost half the population currently sees the rules for combating the virus as a heavy or a very heavy burden - a sharp increase since Christmas. 

Half the German population sees restrictions as a heavy burden

Almost every second person in Germany (49 percent) perceives the coronavirus restrictions that are currently in force as a “very heavy burden” or a “heavy burden”, according to the latest ARD-DeutschlandTrend survey. 42 percent perceive the current restrictions as only a minimal burden, while only 9 percent do not feel burdened at all. 

This means that the proportion of the population that finds the current restrictions onerous has increased sharply in recent weeks. In the week before the Christmas holidays, just 36 percent described the restrictions as a heavy or very heavy burden. Almost two thirds (64 percent) said they were only minimally burdened, or not at all. 

The survey results also show that young voters feel more stressed than their older counterparts. Accordingly, six out of 10 under 40-year-olds speak of severe to very severe stress. For those over the age of 65, it is just under four in 10 (37 percent). 

Satisfaction with government’s crisis management skills declining

The survey also found that satisfaction with the crisis management of the federal and state governments is declining. In the meantime, critical assessments are becoming more widespread: more than half of all people in Germany (54 percent) are currently less or not at all satisfied with how the pandemic is being handled by Angela Merkel and the federal states. 46 percent said they are currently satisfied or very satisfied. 

This is an exact reversal of the situation in mid-December 2020, when 57 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied, and 42 percent were of a negative opinion - before the new lockdown was announced. 

German death toll exceeds 50.000

The results of the survey came just as the Robert Koch Institute confirmed that Germany had passed the grim milestone of 50.000 coronavirus deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 859 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the 24 hours to Friday morning, bringing the total number of fatalities to 50.462. 

Last year, the German government’s astute handling of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic drew widespread acclamation - so much so that by the summer the federal republic was being praised for having “got coronavirus right”. But the second wave has hit the country particularly hard, as a “lockdown light”, then a full lockdown, and then extra measures, have all so far failed at bringing infection numbers under control. 

This week, Angela Merkel noted that the coronavirus incidence rate was finally beginning to drop, but that the daily death rate was still too high to justify easing restrictions. Prominent virologist Christian Drosten has warned that if lockdown measures are lifted prematurely, the country could be facing tens of thousands of new infections per day.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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