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Confidence in Scholz, state institutions in freefall

The trust that Germans have in their political institutions is at an all-time low. The values ​​are particularly catastrophic compared to the previous year. Within a year, the decline noted is simply huge.

Published: January 10, 2023, 4:45 am

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    Under Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), state institutions in Germany experienced an enormous loss of trust.

    At 33 and 34 percent respectively, only a third of Germans still trust the institutions “Federal Chancellor” and “Federal Government”. This corresponds to a decline of 24 or 22 percentage points compared to 2022. The parliament – the German “Bundestag” – is also losing a lot of support: Only 37 percent trust it. That is a minus of 13 points.

    Confidence is even dwindling in the institution of a Federal President

    The Forsa Society for Social Research and Statistical Analysis came to these conclusions after an extensive survey.

    It has been conducting what is known as the “Institutions Trust Ranking” in Germany for 15 years. This year, the opinion research institute interviewed 4 003 Germans on behalf of ntv/RTL.

    Traditionally, Germans place a lot of trust in the institution of the “Federal President”. But even here a decline of twelve points to 63 percent was recorded. A survey by the German Civil Servants Association had previously come to a similar conclusion. According to it, only 29 percent of Germans still trust the state.

    Loss of confidence in the East particularly strong

    Confidence in the “European Union” (31 percent) and “political parties” (17 percent) has also plummeted – in both cases a decline of seven points each was registered. Confidence in eastern Germany is particularly low. Even the “Federal President” is only trusted by 53 percent of respondents. In the West it is 65 percent.

    Only 20 percent trust the “European Union” (West: 33 percent) and “political parties” did very badly, with only eleven percent placing any trust in them.

    Economic outlook becoming dismal

    Experts expect a further increase in the number of insolvencies in the coming months. Prominent examples such as the department stores’ chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the toilet paper manufacturer Hakle, the furniture manufacturer Hülsta and the car supplier Borgers could be harbingers of a growing wave of bankruptcies.

    In addition to higher energy costs, supply chains remain under pressure and consumers may be reluctant to spend because of inflation.

    There is another trigger for bankruptcies increasingly coming into focus: rising interest rates. They make loans more expensive and thus threaten not only companies in sectors that have been problematic for years, such as retail, but also those that have significantly increased their debt in recent years.

    In view of the permanently friendly economy, banks and other financiers were extremely generous. Moreover, the record low interest rates made it possible to borrow money at almost zero cost.

    According to data from Barkow Consulting, companies were still paying 1,5 per cent interest for a five-year loan a year ago. By mid-December, it was around four percent.

    The drastic increase in financing costs is likely to leave its mark on highly indebted companies in particular. In a recently published study, the rating agency Standard & Poor’s predicted that the rate of loan defaults among European companies could be more than twice as high as a year ago. In Germany, 14 700 companies filed for insolvency in 2022, according to Creditreform data.

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