- The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2016

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump calls it an unmitigated disaster for Germany, but Germans themselves are more evenly divided over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy for migrants seeking to enter the country from Syria, Afghanistan and other world crisis spots.

Nearly six in 10 Germans predict there will be more domestic terrorism because of Mrs. Merkel’s liberal policies, and a bare majority of Germans (51 percent) believe the country’s education and social systems will be “overstretched” by the unprecedented influx of migrants, according to a new poll Monday conducted for the German international news service Deutsche Welle.

Among members of the rising populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, some 89 percent predict the chancellor’s liberal immigration policies will mean more terrorism inside Germany, compared to 7 percent who disagree. By a 91-9 percent margin, AfD members also predict the German economy will suffer because of the surge in immigration.

But the same poll found that by a 51 percent to 45 percent margin, Germans overall believe the country’s economy will benefit from the new migrants, filling many skilled and unskilled positions currently not being filled by native Germans.

The news service said the cost of handling the immigrant influx will be at least $17 billion annually.

• David R. Sands can be reached at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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