Concerns over Donald Trump have topped a ranking of Germans’ biggest fears.Concern over the policies of US President Donald Trump has shot to the top of an annual ranking of Germans’ biggest fears, easily outstripping worries about refugees and terrorism, a survey shows.
The “Fears of the Germans” survey from R+V Versicherung showed that 69 per cent are worried that Trump is making the world a more dangerous place with his policies, which have included withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord.
That compared to 63 per cent who expressed fear that Germany risked being overwhelmed by refugees and 59 per cent who listed terrorism as a top concern, down sharply from 71 per cent last year.
“Trump’s brutal ‘America First’ stance, his hostility to international agreements and his aggressive trade and security policies, including towards allies, are frightening a majority of the population,” said Manfred Schmidt, a political scientist in Heidelberg who advises R+V on the survey.
“Trump’s attacks on Germany are having a growing impact on sentiment,” he added, referring to the president’s frequent verbal assaults on Germany’s trade surplus and relatively low levels of defence spending.
Among other concerns in the survey, 57 per cent of Germans expressed fear about political extremism and 56 per cent said they were worried about natural catastrophes.
The survey of roughly 2400 Germans was conducted in June and July, before far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz following the fatal stabbing of a German man, allegedly by two migrants, drew worldwide attention.
Terrorism had topped the fears ranking in the previous two years. In the five years prior to that, the top concern had been the cost of the euro crisis for German taxpayers.