Research

Germany is under the pressure of refugees

Analysis of messages, posted by German users in social networks between August 1 and 25, allows to conclude, that about 58% of authors express negative opinion towards an increasing number of refugees in Germany from Asian and African countries. Those results are different from previous sociological predictions, according to which, just in July 2015, most (57%) Germans thought, that the amount of refugees in Germany should be kept at the current level or even increased.

28_08_2015_Survey_-_Германия_под_напором_беженцев

Research parameters

  1. Data amount: processed 338 458 topic messages in German language from 118 662 authors.
  2. Source types:
    • Social networks: 93,5%
    • Mass-media articles and comments: 6,5%
  3. Main sources:
    • Facebook: 52,6%
    • Twitter: 40,4%
    • Instagram, Google+: 1%
    • Welt.de, News.de, Ad-hoc-news.de, Derstandart.at: 0,5%
    • Youtube: 0,4%
    • Total: 534 sources.
  4. Message language: German – 94,1%, English – 4,8%, other – 1,1%.
  5. Authors geography: Germany – 82,1%, Austria – 5,73%, Switzerland – 2,64%, USA – 2,19%, France – 1,02%, other – 6,32%.
  6. Age: 18-24 – 6,4%, 25-34 – 16,1%, 35-44 – 20,7%, 45-54 – 27,4%, >55 – 29,4%.

As for the causes of a negative opinion of German people towards the refugees, the following public opinion-influencing factors can be highlighted: political, economic, legal, sociocultural.  Strength of those factors’ influence has been measured.

In particular, a specific gravity of political factors (uncontrollable flow of refugees as a cause of government miscalculations and EU bureaucracy, a thread of spreading Islamic extremism, destruction of social and political peace of the political elites, between the inhabitants of eastern and western territories, increasing right-wing extremism, increasing government control of social media and introduction of penalties for hostile statements towards the refugees makes up a total of 30% of all negative factors.

Amount of economic factors (threat of tax increase, decrease in social security, increase in unemployment, overpopulation of cities, spread of epidemics, increasing financial burden to the the budget of the länder and communes) – 25%.

Legal factors (granting the refuge to all refugees, and not only to war refugees, unfettered illegal entry to the EU territory without the required paperwork, insufficient strictness towards the expulsion of refugees without grounds to asylum) – 10%.

Sociocultural factors (cultural, religious and mental incompatibility with refugees, insufficient education level of refugees,  appearance of ghettos and «No-go-Аreas» in German cities, overall criminalization of the situation, refugees discontent with living conditions in Germany and street protests, violent clashes of right radicals with the members of left-wing parties because of different attitudes towards the refugees, placement of refugees in schools, gyms and other public areas) affect the public opinion of Germans the most – 35% .

Social media users signal about the developing dangerous fractures in German society, as well as inside the European Union. In particular, there is a spreading opinion that the ex-GDR citizens express hostility and intolerance towards the refugees. There are noted enforcement actions of right radicals from the eastern territories towards the refugees.  Saxony is announced to be the «center of violence».  Germans are not content with a position of a number of EU countries that limit the refugees reception. Between such countries is a neighboring Poland, that only accepts the Christian  refugees, while the Muslim refugees are towards in Germany. Social media users think that such position is incomparable with the EU membership.

Most characteristic messages:

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