A new study has revealed that the vast majority of Germans do not see the migrants coming across the Mediterranean as legitimate refugees and want to see them deported back to North Africa.
The study, conducted by research institute Civey shows that 69.8 per cent of Germans do not regard the migrants rescued and transported by NGOs in the Mediterranean as legitimate refugees despite claims from the NGOs themselves.
Many of the NGOs have called for Germany to stop cooperating with the Libyan coastguard which has been turning back migrant boats, but according to the survey, most Germans disagree with them, Die Welt reports.
When the survey data is broken down by age, it shows that the largest section of those who want to return the migrants to North Africa are aged 65 and older at 74.6 per cent. The data also differs depending on the region of Germany the participant comes from with East Germans being the most favourable to deportations.
Along political lines, a majority of members of all parties support the deportation of Mediterranean migrants except for the left-wing Green party with only 34.7 per cent approving of the idea and 48.8 per cent rejecting the idea.
The Green party have long been in favour of the NGOs and their rescue missions in the Mediterranean, including Hamburg Green politician Anna Gallina who joined the crew of the Sea Eye NGO earlier this year. Ms. Gallina justified her actions saying: “I am going to Libya in the next few weeks because I want to contribute to the salvation of the people.”
The survey deeply divided the far-left Die Linke, or Left Party, with the number of those agreeing and disagreeing being close to equal. Some members of the far-left party, which finds its origins in the Communist party of former East Germany, have been against mass migration while others like Left Party politician Diether Dehm are so pro-migrant that Dehm was accused of smuggling migrants himself.
Perhaps least surprisingly, anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) members voted 98.8 percent in favour of deporting Mediterranean migrants. The AfD has consistently been against mass migration and for the strengthening of Germany’s borders since the start of the migrant crisis.
A new poll, from Insa, shows the AfD regaining some of the momentum they had in regional and local elections last year. The poll shows the party once again in third place nationally behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) coalition and the Social Democrats (SPD) led by former European Union parliament president Martin Schulz.