Many Germans are in favour of US troop withdrawal: survey

The German citizens are largely in favour of almost 12,000 US soldiers being withdrawn from their country, a survey, conducted by opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of dpa, shows.

Around 47% of people surveyed were in favour of reducing the number of soldiers from 36,000. One in four people surveyed thought that the US forces should leave Germany completely.

By contrast, only 28% said they were in favour of American troops remaining at their current strength while 4% said they would approve an increase. A further 21% declined to make a statement.

The US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced last week that the country will withdraw almost 12,000 soldiers from Germany. Of those, 6,400 are to return to the US and about 5,600 are to be transferred to other NATO member states in Europe, mainly to Italy and Belgium.

Five of the six parliamentary groups represented in the Bundestag reject the withdrawal of troops. Only the Left Party is in favour of the idea, but additionally wants all US soldiers to leave the country.

The picture is different among voters: only supporters of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc are predominantly against a reduction of US soldiers, with 45 to 41% against. Among the voters of all other parties, those in favour of a withdrawal of troops are in the majority to varying degrees.

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