Status: 21/09/2023, 17:16 p.m.
By: Franziska Schwarz
Scene of a right-wing demonstration: The number of supporters of right-wing extremist ideas has risen sharply in Germany. © Jens Schlueter/dpa
"Populism on the rise": The spread of right-wing extremism in Germany has increased sharply since 2021, according to a recent study.
Berlin – Right-wing extremist attitudes have risen sharply among the German population: one in twelve people in Germany now shares a right-wing extremist worldview. This was the result of a study by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) presented on Thursday in Berlin. At eight percent, the proportion of respondents with a clear right-wing extremist orientation has risen significantly compared to two to three percent in previous years.
"Populism and anti-democratic and nationalist positions are on the rise," said Martin Schulz, chairman of the SPD-affiliated foundation. As a central feature of right-wing extremism, the authors around Andreas Zick define "an ideology of inequality and violence or the approval of violence to enforce the ideology".
Right-wing extremism in Germany: Six percent are in favor of a dictatorship, according to the study
In the survey, more than six percent are in favor of a dictatorship with a single strong party and a leader for Germany. 16 percent have a negative attitude towards "foreigners". Around a third of those surveyed - 34 percent - also believe that refugees only come to Germany to take advantage of the social system.
The proportion of respondents who identify as right-of-centre has also increased. According to the study entitled "The Distanced Center," 15.5 percent of the population currently see themselves as right-of-center, but in the last survey it was just under ten percent.
According to the statement, 30 percent of respondents agreed with the statement "The ruling parties are deceiving the people", almost twice as many as two years earlier. According to the study, the proportion of those who approve of political violence has more than doubled. According to the study, it is currently at 13.2 percent. Two years ago, 5.3 percent of respondents held this view.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung calls for "consistent action" by politicians
At the same time, trust in institutions and the functioning of democracy is falling below 60 percent. At 38 percent, a significant proportion of respondents hold conspiracy-believing positions. Populist and nationalist-authoritarian-rebellious are also widespread - among 33 percent and 29 percent of the participants in the survey, respectively.
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"These results are not only frightening, but also call for consistent action – from politicians, but also from society itself," Schulz explained. People rightly demanded a strong, effective and functioning state. But the democratic center itself is also called upon to clearly distance itself from misanthropic attitudes.
Since 2006, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has been publishing a new edition of the so-called Mitte study approximately every two years. For the current survey, people were interviewed representatively from January 2 to February 28, 2027.
Study: One in three Europeans now votes against the establishment
Across Europe, there is also a tendency to the right. The British Guardian reported on the same day that almost a third of Europeans now vote for populist, far-right or far-left parties.
Analyses by more than 100 political scientists in 31 countries found that a record 2022 percent of voters voted for anti-establishment parties in the 32 national elections, compared to 20 percent in the early 2000s and 12 percent in the early 1990s.
The study, led by Matthijs Rooduijn, a political scientist at the University of Amsterdam, was exclusively available to the Guardian. (dpa/frs)