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Spanish call Germans 'most arrogant' in EU

Steve Tallantyre · 14 May 2013, 14:47

Published: 14 May 2013 14:47 GMT+02:00

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The Pew Research Center's 2013 survey, released on Monday, looks at what Europeans think about the EU project, their neighbours, and themselves.

National stereotyping was investigated, with some surprising results.

While the Spanish picked Germany as the "most arrogant" and "least compassionate" nation in Europe, they also indicated that it is the country most deserving of trust.

Spain's opinion of Germany was shared by Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Italy is the least trustworthy nation in Europe according to Spain, a view with which the Italians themselves seem to agree.

The Italians' remarkable self-deprecation even carries over to the "least arrogant" category, where every country picked itself – except Italy, which voted for Spain.

Spain's unhappiness with Germany is believed to be related to its prominent role in Europe's response to the ongoing economic crisis, with 57% of Spaniards claiming that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has done a bad job.

She still fares better than Spain's own Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, who is believed by 72% of surveyed Spaniards to be handling the EU crisis badly.

Only 4% of the Spanish think that economic conditions are good, compared with 75% of Germans.

In contrast, almost 80% of the Spanish say that economic conditions are "very bad".

Overall Spanish faith in the European project has been badly damaged in recent years, according to the report.

Story continues below…

The number of Spaniards in favour of the EU has fallen by 16% since 2009, while only 37% now think that European integration has strengthened the economy.

Support for a united Europe is down almost across the board but, in most countries, people with a university degree are more likely than those without to still believe in economic integration.

Young people in Spain are the most disillusioned with the EU.

The number in favour is down 42 points since 2007 and support for economic integration is down 25 points since 2009, possibly reflecting the heavy toll that unemployment has taken on Spain’s youth. 

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

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