Tuesday, July 03, 2007

European View of Americans, the U.S.

A couple of recent surveys (one carried out in June by Harris Research for the Financial Times and one by Pew Global Attitudes Project) found that the number of Europeans who have a favorable view of the U.S. continues to decline.

The Harris-poll shows in particular that Europeans consistently regard the US as the biggest threat to world stability:

- 32 % of respondents in 5 European countries regard the US as a bigger threat than any other state. (and the most concerned are the Spaniards with 46%)

Even more surprisingly, the youngest US respondents share the Europeans’ view that theirs is the biggest threat:

- 35 % of American 16- to 24-year-olds identify their own country as the chief danger to stability.

The second poll that came out this month (the Pew Global AttitudeProject) also shows that the view of the US in Europe continues to decline.

Germany has the lowest number of respondents who have a favorable view (30%), compared to 78% in 2000.

France is really average with 39% who have a favorable view. (less than in Britain or Italy but more than in Germany or Spain).

So does this mean that Europe is becoming more anti-American? Not quite.

The poll also indicates that a majority of Europeans have a favorable view of Americans: 63% of the Germans, and 61% of the French have a positive view of the American people. (the lowest number is in Spain with only 46%).

What’s to conclude?
Well, while the Europeans have a very negative view of the Bush administration, this does not seem to translate into anti-Americanism. People do differentiate between the people and their leader, and that is certainly good news for all of us.

On more point: The Pew poll also contrasted unfavorable ratings of the US with much more positive responses in Israel, Poland, Japan, India and parts of Africa and Latin America.

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