Most Germans don't like Donald Trump. Only very few would have voted for him, according to polls conducted before the U.S. elections. In a recent quarterly survey by the online polling firm YouGov, conducted on behalf of Handelsblatt Global, 60 percent of Germans said the president-elect will make the world a "more dangerous" place.
But many Germans seem to sympathize with some of the incoming U.S. president's political ideas. According to an Ipsos survey, conducted for WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt, a whopping 56.3 percent spoke out in favor of deporting all illegal aliens. Furthermore, 31 percent want income tax to be lowered and 26 percent want stricter regulations for Muslims entering the country.
These results could help point to the outcome of this year's federal election. Since Angela Merkel first took power in 2005, Germany’s political landscape has changed, and she now has to contend with growing support for the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany, or AfD as it is known in Germany. Ms. Merkel's party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union, suffered defeat in her home state in regional elections in September as voters rejected her open-door policy to refugees.
On the other hand, several of Mr. Trump's ideas are not that appealing for Germans, such as ending free trade agreements (only 19 percent in favor) or imposing protective tariffs (4 percent).
Germans also remain decisive climate protectors. Only less than 2 percent are in favor of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, which the president-elect had pledged to "cancel."
According to the survey, 57 percent of the 1,075 respondents assume that Mr. Trump will politically destabilize the world once in the White House. 55.9 percent expect negative effects for Germany.
Considering the possible consequences for the U.S., there is more skepticism: only 12.2 percent of the respondents said that Mr. Trump will improve his country's international position on a sustainable basis.
This article first appeared in WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt. Gregor Peter Schmitz is the business magazine's Berlin bureau chief. To contact him: [email protected]