German support for Merkel’s crisis handling erodes: poll

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Only one third of Germans still believe Angela Merkel is making the right decisions over the euro zone debt crisis, according to a survey published on Sunday, pointing to a steep erosion in domestic support for the chancellor over the last weeks.

The survey by YouGov, due to be printed in Monday’s edition of Bild newspaper, found 33 percent in favor of her stance but 48 percent against, a setback for the chancellor who is to seek a third term in a 2013 federal election, which she has vowed to make a vote on Europe.

Asked in the survey whether they feared for their savings, 44 percent of Germans said that they did.

In mid-July, a poll by ZDF-Politbarometer showed 63 percent of Germans backed Merkel’s handling of the crisis, although a majority thought she should explain her policies better.

Another poll at the start of July by Infratest-ARD put support for Merkel’s crisis policies at 58 percent, although 85 percent of those polled also expected the crisis to get worse.

Merkel’s tough stance on the crisis and demands for austerity in exchange for aid have seen her demonized across Europe, but earnt her popularity at home.

The euro zone entered a threatening new phase in the last weeks, however, as concern rose Greece would be unable to meet its bailout conditions and Spanish and Italian assets came under renewed market attack, stirring fears about the rising cost of Europe’s debt crisis for German tax payers.

Last week Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable as Germany might have to increase its support for troubled states.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson- Editing by Sophie Hares)

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