Arrogant uncaring BUT trustworthy how Europeans see Germany

first_imgIN A MAJOR new survey of Europeans, Germany was found to be the most trusted nation in the European Union.But, it was also described as the most arrogant and least compassionate.The Washington DC-based Pew Research Center polled almost 8,000 people across Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic in March this year to ascertain their views on the European project and their feelings towards their neighbours.The answers highlight how Germany’s experience of the financial crisis has differed to those of seven other EU members. Currently, Germans feel better about the economy, their personal situations, the future, the European Union, economic integration and their own elected leaders.The role played by Angela Merkel and her government over the past five years has evoked mixed motions from Europeans. In all but one country, people consider Berlin the most trustworthy (Greece was the only exception: it chose itself as the most trustworthy).However, the same countries polled Germany as the ‘least compassionate’ and many also voted it as the ‘most arrogant’.Despite proclaiming itself the most trustworthy, Greece was named as the least trustworthy by three other countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic and France.In an odd result, France described itself as both the ‘most arrogant’ and ‘least arrogant’ country.Decline in SupportThe research showed a decline in support for the European Union in 2013 when compared to the previous year with favourability falling from a median of 60 per cent to just 45 per cent.The report believes that there has been an “erosion of faith in the animating principles that have driven so much of what [Europe] has accomplished internally”.The prolonged economic crisis has created centrifugal forces that are pulling European public opinion apart, separating the French from the Germans and the Germans from everyone else.According to the Pew Centre’s data, no European country is becoming “more dispirited and disillusioned” faster than France as the public mood sours dramatically.The French are negative about the economy with 91 per cent saying it is doing badly, a 10 per cent jump on last year’s figures. They are also unimpressed with their leadership, with Francois Hollande scoring less than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.In contrast, Germans are still mostly satisfied with Merkel and her approval rating is recorded at 74 per cent. There is a major gap to hit the second most popular leader – David Cameron of Great Britain at 37 per cent.Economic DoomAlthough they are optimistic about their own trustworthiness and compassion, just one per cent of Greeks are positive on their economic conditions. Again, Germany is the only country of the eight to diverge from such feelings of concern.Positive sentiment is down 61 percentage points in Spain, 54 points in Britain and 22 points in Italy.A lack of jobs is the major concern for most countries, as is public debt. The gap between rich and poor is also a worry for European nations. Inequality is the principle concern in Germany.Any good news?Disillusionment with the European project has not turned residents off the euro which remains in public favour. More than six-in-ten people want to keep the single currency, with support increasing in both Italy and Spain.Angela Merkel: ‘No, I was not an East German propaganda official’Germany arrests 93-year-old over alleged duty at Auschwitzlast_img read more