BERLIN (Sputnik) - Forty-seven percent of German citizens believe that the growing crime rate in the country is linked to refugees, the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) said in its annual report.
Most people who believed there was a connection between the crime rate and refugees turned out to have been immigrants themselves. At the same time, 25 percent of respondents, one-third of whom were former asylum seekers, believed that the level of crime was increasing because of labor migrants, specifically.
Meanwhile, over 70 percent of respondents said that taking in refugees would contribute to the country's economic development of Germany. This opinion was also shared by 52 percent of former migrants. Only 28 percent of those surveyed pointed out that the refugees accepted in the country threatened the stability and prosperity of Germany. This idea was supported by almost half of respondents with a migration past, according to SVR.
While presenting the report, SVR chairman Thomas Bauer said that over 9,000 people in Germany, including about 6,000 people with a migration past, were interviewed for the survey from July 2017 to January 2018.
Germany has become one of the countries most affected by the migration crisis in Europe, which broke out in 2015 with a huge influx of people fleeing armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Germany currently has the largest share of migrants in the total population among EU states — 12 percent, according to the World Population Review.