Spanish call Germans ‘most arrogant’ in EU

The Spanish consider Germany as the "most arrogant" and "least compassionate" nation in Europe but also the "most trustworthy", a new survey shows.

Spanish call Germans 'most arrogant' in EU
The Spanish think Angela Merkel is arrogant, uncompassionate, and doing a bad job, says new survey. Photo: MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/DDP/AFP

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.

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. 

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Fireworks promised for Spain–Germany friendly

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has demanded his players put on a show as his rejuvenated side prepare to welcome Germany, the team that succeeded them as world champions, in Vigo on Tuesday.

Fireworks promised for Spain–Germany friendly
Spanish manager Vicente Del Bosque has injected plenty of new blood into his side, the reigning European champions. Photo: AFP

"When you get this kind of match there's almost no difference whether the game is an official one or like in this case a friendly," said Del Bosque, whose side go into the game on a high having rediscovered their form.

"We want to play well, to put on a show," he said.

"They (Germany) want to remain at the highest level, and we want to keep up our post World Cup momentum," said Del Bosque, after Saturday's 3-0 European qualifier win against Belarus.

Germany coach Joachim Loew looked to be taking the game less seriously than Del Bosque.

"We're delighted to be taking on a team of such a high technical level. It's the perfect test for us," Loew said in Vigo, where the teams are due to play.

"But if we lose I won't consider it a defeat that would compromise our chances for next year (of winning Euro 2016). It's not so important," said Loew.

The World Cup winning coach also suggested he would give a run out to fringe strikers Kevin Volland of Hoffenheim and Stuttgart's Antonio Ruediger.

Loew has recently complained that Germany is suffering a post World Cup hangover, and that a fresh start is needed in the New Year.

"After this match, we need a good break and a long holiday so everyone can recharge our batteries," he said.

Spain captain 'keeper Iker Casillas said the teams needed to live up to their reputations.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) the last two World Cup winners go head-to-head so you really can't get a more attractive game than that," explained the Real Madrid stopper.

Spain romped to the 2010 World title in South Africa but fell to a dramatic first-round elimination at the 2014 edition in Brazil, won so impressively by Germany.

Del Bosque has injected plenty of new blood into his side, the reigning European champions, with players such as Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Juventus striker Alvaro Moratta or winger Jose Callejon.

"Against the Germans, we'll be giving a run out to everyone we can," said Del Bosque.