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Germans lose faith in state institutions amid bureaucracy and political turmoil

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A new survey by the German Civil Servant Association (dbb) has revealed that only 27% of Germans trust the state to fulfill its responsibilities, a record low since the survey began in 2017. The survey, which was published on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, asked 1,000 people across Germany about their satisfaction with various aspects of public administration and services.

 

The survey found that Germans are particularly dissatisfied with the state’s performance in asylum and refugee policy, education policy, and climate and environmental policy. These areas were rated as the most overstretched and underfunded by the respondents. The survey also showed that Germans are frustrated by long waiting times, complex procedures, and outdated technology in dealing with public authorities.

 

The decline in trust in state institutions coincides with a period of political uncertainty and instability in Germany. The current coalition government of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and Free Democrats (FDP), led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has been plagued by internal disagreements and scandals since it took office in January 2022. Scholz, who succeeded Angela Merkel after her 16-year tenure, has been criticized for his lack of communication and leadership skills.

 

The dbb chairperson, Ulrich Silberbach, called the survey results “alarming” and urged the government to take action to restore public confidence. He said that the state should be more efficient, transparent, and responsive to the needs of the peopleHe also suggested that the state should invest more in digitalization, modernization, and training of public employees.

 

The survey comes ahead of the federal elections scheduled for September 24, 2023, which are expected to be highly competitive and unpredictable. The latest polls show that no single party or coalition has a clear majority or advantage over the others. The main contenders are the SPD-Green-FDP alliance, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU)-Christian Social Union (CSU) bloc, and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

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