More than one out of three Germans believes foreigners only come to the country to exploit the welfare state, a study on authoritarian attitudes in Germany says. Almost one out of two people in eastern Germany believes this to be true, and almost as many people are convinced Germany is already "dangerously watered down" by foreigners — 35.6 percent of those interviewed overall held that conviction (44.6 percent among eastern Germans).
"More than 30 percent of the people living in eastern Germany unanimously agree with xenophobic views," said Oliver Decker, the head of the study at the Leipzig-based Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research. That is a really high percentage, he told DW. Roughly 22 percent of western Germans agreed with those views. Since 2002, the institute has published a biennial study on authoritarian and right-wing extremist views in Germany.