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Pew Survey

by afew Thu May 31st, 2012 at 05:29:22 AM EST

European Unity on the Rocks | Pew Global Attitudes Project

Germany is the most admired nation in the EU and its leader the most respected. The Germans are judged to be Europe’s most hardworking people. And the Germans are the strongest supporters of both European economic integration and the European Union.

Greece is the polar opposite. None of its fellow EU members surveyed see it in a positive light. In turn, Greeks are among the most disparaging of European economic integration and the harshest critics of the European Union. And they see themselves as Europe’s most hardworking people.

This (probably unsurprising conclusion) comes from a Pew Global Attitudes survey of 8 European countries plus the US, in March and April 2012, published two days ago.

More below...


How do Europeans see the performance of their leaders (each country was asked about their own leader, see note):

The EU, the euro, the ECB? Good enough...

And some questions in detail, from the pdf file of the report:

Any views on this?

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European Unity on the Rocks | Pew Global Attitudes Project

The north-south divide in Europe, a topic of great concern in policy circles in Brussels, is by no means uniform. No country in northern Europe has a positive view of Greece. But Britain, France and Germany still hold positive views of Italy and Spain.

Southern Europeans are more dissatisfied than northerners with the direction of their countries, more worried about the state of their economy and the most worried about economic mobility. But southerners share with northerners their disenchantment with the results of European integration.

There is no north-south divide on coping with the crisis. As might be expected, wealthy northern countries are less supportive of financial bailouts than poorer southern nations. But there is no clear-cut division of opinion on austerity or EU oversight of national budgets. Finally, with regard to the perception of the national character of the residents of southern European countries, the British, French and Germans judge the Greeks, Italians and Spanish to be the laziest people in Europe and among the most corrupt. However, Italians and Spaniards largely share this negative image of themselves and their southern counterparts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 05:31:18 AM EST
I'm pretty surprised. How reliable is the survey?
by PerCLupi on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:56:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pew is a large and probably reliable outfit, with experience in international surveys.

That said, I suspect the results say more about people's media-cultivated ignorance of reality (with a corresponding option for common wisdom and stereotypes because that's all they can fall back on), than any carefully weighed opinion.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 08:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any question like "Which countries citizen's are the laziest" invites a lazy, media induced, stereotypical response.  If they had asked "Which countries citizen's work the longest hours" they would probably have gotten responses which could be objectively proved to be wrong.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 09:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not way out of line with what I would've expected.  

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 06:03:51 AM EST
Including the "administrative error" in not reporting the results from Greece on the question:

Do you think our government's efforts to reduce gov't spending have gone too far, not far enough, or just right?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaďs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 06:46:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their formatting probably didn't allow 3 digit numbers in the columns....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 06:55:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, i was thinking something similar, ie that there were too many (#%&#%&%#(#%(^& words for the algorithms to cope!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the economically weaker countries favour the euro because it got them lower borrowing rates, germany favours it because it gave them a discounted market right next door.

the southern countries know they are more corrupt, (duh) and that's why they liked being in the eurozone, believing their governance would be improved by brussels' oversight.

what happened was the financial bankers elite sided with the forces in those countries who were corrupt, (mob money is keeping italian banks solvent), and brussels did painfully little to help the PIIG countries govern themselves better.

the EU knew its grants were being swindled and channeled to syndicates, but it just kept on keeping on.

having said all that, these kind of surveys do as much to accentuate and perpetuate the (stereotypical) differences as they do to help harmonise.

oh well...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:02:38 AM EST
what the results would look like if you asked US citizens the same questions regarding the states? Put in questions like, "Which state is the most retarded?".

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:22:30 AM EST
I think the fact that New Jersey is the least corrupt state says it all....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ambivalence towards the euro within the Eurozone is interesting. I wonder what responses to Q67 would be seen if a smaller "core" euro had been given as an option. The disparity points to an appetite for reform, unfortunately I suspect the preference would be to leave behind the lazy Greeks/Italians/Whoever.
by ectoraige on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 07:32:40 AM EST
The problems of stereotyping is not that it exists: it is that it might be wrong.

Take for instance number of hours worked: Southerners work more than Northerners (having worked in several countries and with many cultures, my view is that the number of hours worked reflects well the amount of work done). But the stereotype is the other way around.

The religious/Christian view of work is depressing: people immediately imply that richer->hard worker. Indeed nation success probably involves more of honesty, respect, organization, fairness, creativity, trust, lawfulness, ... . Hard-work is a poor substitute (indeed it is no substitute at all)

by cagatacos on Thu May 31st, 2012 at 08:17:52 AM EST


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