Germany has survived the pandemic well so far. But the number of cases is currently increasing again. How does this affect people’s attitudes? The German pulse gives it away.
Germany is increasingly hit by a second corona wave. The number of infections is increasing – and with it the nervousness in politics. This week, the states agreed on stricter rules for domestic travel. Further measures are likely to follow. But not all countries are joining. The approaches often differ significantly from region to region. The result is a patchwork quilt in which in the end no one really knows what is applicable and what is not.
Politics is once again testing the patience of the population in the Corona crisis. As shown by the German pulse, which the opinion research institute Civey collects for Chillreport, the groups of those who are satisfied or dissatisfied with the work of politics in general are about the same at the moment. At present, about 40 percent believe that German politicians can solve the country’s main problems. About 44.5 percent are of the opposite opinion.
Compared to previous evaluations of the Deutschland-Puls, this is a remarkable development. Since the introduction of this barometer, confidence in the problem-solving skills of politicians has fluctuated between a weak ten and fifteen percent. That changed fundamentally with the spread of the corona pandemic in the spring. The proportion of those who viewed the work of decision-makers in federal, state and local authorities as positive rose rapidly in March and April: to just under 42 percent at the end of April and then to 49 percent by mid-July, the highest values up to now far. The negative ratings fell below 36 percent. Mind you, the statistics show the general satisfaction with German politics, not just with Corona politics in particular.
The mood changes
But that also means that there has been a slight change in mood in recent weeks. As it has become clear that the corona-related restrictions will increase rather than decrease in the autumn and the associated economic and social burdens will persist for longer, the number of people satisfied with the work of politicians has also decreased slightly.
A general dissatisfaction with the political work, as reflected by the values at the beginning of the year, cannot yet be deduced from the slightly changed trend.
For the respondents, the health, pensions and social affairs policy area remains the policy area with the greatest need for action, even in Corona times. No less than 23 percent currently see it that way. In April, the value was even 35 percent, which could have something to do with the particularly great attention to dealing with the pandemic.
The fear of unemployment is decreasing
Against the same background, attention also increased for the economy and the labor market. Meanwhile, almost 28 percent of those questioned saw a particularly great need for action here, currently just over 17 percent. At the beginning of the year, only about 10 percent of those surveyed rated this area as an urgent matter.
Migration and integration are currently back in second place, falling to fourth place in the spring and summer. About 20 percent see a great need for action in this area, which currently places migration and integration between health / retirement and social issues, as well as the economy and the labor market.
After a kink in the spring, general satisfaction with the lives of German citizens has returned to pre-Corona levels. In April and May, at the height of the first corona wave, this value had fallen below 68 percent.
At the moment, 73 percent of those surveyed are satisfied with their lives again, 16 percent are not. Eleven percent are undecided on the question. In comparison, at the beginning of the year, 74 percent were satisfied, against almost 14 percent dissatisfied.