Merkel's popularity plunges in wake of attacks

Berlin, Germany Published: Aug 05, 2016, 04:53 AM(IST)

Merkel is expected to run for a fourth term in general elections due in just over a year. Photograph:( AFP )

Public support for Angela Merkel has plummeted, mainly over the chancellor's refugee policy in the wake of a series of attacks in Germany, according to a poll published Thursday.

Forty-seven per cent of the 1,000 people who took part in the poll by the ARD TV station said they were satisfied with Merkel's work, 12 points down from her July rating.

It was Merkel's second worst poll score since she was re-elected in 2013. In February 2016, 46 per cent of respondents gave favourable opinions.

In this latest poll, just 34 per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the government's welcoming policy towards refugees.

It was the lowest result on the issue since it began to be included in the monthly poll in October.

Some 65 per cent said they were dissatisfied with the policy.

Horst Seehofer, conservative premier of Bavaria, and a staunch critic of the government's refugee policy despite being one of Merkel's allies, saw his popularity rating soar 11 points to 44 per cent.

Germany's first attacks claimed by the Islamic State group took place in July. Three of the assailants were seeking asylum in Germany.

A few days after the two attacks, Merkel continued to defend her migration policy, repeating the "We can do it" slogan she first used in the summer of 2015. That year Germany welcomed more than a million migrants.

Merkel is expected to run for a fourth term in general elections due in just over a year.

In September, regional elections will be held on her home turf of Western Mecklenburg-Pomerania, where her party is trailing in the polls.

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