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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:07 pm

New Study Shows American Attitudes Towards Germany Improving

By Gregor Peter Schmitz

Barack Obama may be in trouble at home but he has improved trans-Atlantic relations. A recent survey shows an improvement in German-US relations and indicates that Germans are becoming more popular in the US, after a major dip during the Iraq controversy.

Around a year after Barack Obama took office, the number of Germany fans in America has risen significantly. "We have seen the best survey results since we started conducting them," the German ambassador to the US, Klaus Scharioth, said as he presented a survey on American views of Germany conducted by the German Information Center, a liaison and information center in the US run by the German government.

The survey has been carried out regularly since 2002 and the latest results released this week show that 48 percent of Americans who took part had an "excellent" or "good" general impression of Germany. That good impression was particularly high among college students. The survey questioned 1,051 Americans in the first half of December in 2009.

The study found that Germany was no longer associated with old clich├ęs -- instead, it is seen as a modern, high-tech country and as an important international partner for the US. Respondents saw Germany as a leader in issues of environmental protection and in the development of renewable energies.

Good Relations -- But Still not as High as Before Iraq War

The survey has shown a consistent improvement in US attitudes towards Germany in recent years. The last such survey in 2008 found that 43 percent of respondents saw Germany very positively whereas earlier, the Iraq war had seen a cooling off in trans-Atlantic relations. At the height of the diplomatic row between the two countries in 2003, only 27 percent of respondents had a very positive attitude to Germany.

Impressions of the relationship between the US and Germany have also improved, with 41 percent saying that they thought the two nations enjoyed "excellent" or "good" relations. Still, levels attained before the Iraq conflict have not been reached again -- in 2001, a far higher 65 percent of Americans thought relations between the two nations were overwhelmingly positive.

Diplomatic relations and economic cooperation were seen as particularly positive between the two countries. However in questions of defense or foreign affairs, things did not look as bright, with 47 percent of Americans believing that Germany could do more in the fight against international terrorism and only about a quarter saying they though that Germany played an important role in the military efforts in Afghanistan.

Germany has Little Impact on American Politics

A mere 12 percent thought Germany had an impact on the American political landscape, with the mid-European power in fifth place behind the UK, Canada, China and Japan. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that China's ranking in this area has risen dramatically.

The issue of climate change looks likely to be a potential area for future cooperation between Germany and the US. Even though the numbers are not as high as they were during the last such survey, almost half -- 45 percent -- of Americans see this as desirable. Doubtless, those lower figures reflect the debate going on in America around climate protection -- 42 percent of Americans believe that climate protection measures damage the economy and US citizens have shown that they are uncertain about how to proceed in this area.
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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:25 pm

I never was anti-German at any time. Maybe some kooks were but not me. The French? That's another story.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:39 pm

ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL You don't know how hard I laughed at that. Why is it always the French that are the laughing stock??

The reason Germany became unpopular is because we were unwilling to cave in on US demands and pressure. Especially with our old Chancellor, who was a Social Democrat, the US-GER relations had suffered because our Chancellor didn't approve of Bush's methods. However, this gained him a lot of popularity in the Middle East and anytime a German reporter was kidnapped by extremists, he/she was released after our Chancellor sent a televised plea/thread to the terrorists.
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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:07 pm

They're laughing stocks because alot of Americans that i've talked to say that they're rude people when they've gone to visit there. I even knew a Frenchman who immigrated here in the 80s (down in Texas). He said the same thing of his own people.

Yeah, that's the divide between America and Europe. It's sort of a pacifist attitude. Nothing like Chamberlain but it's still pacifist. Europeans don't like war. It's that simple.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:12 pm

Yeah, I hear that all the time. You'll try to speak french to them, at least make an effort, and they correct every word you get even slightly wrong... Not to mention, they're pretty arrogant about their country.

That's because Europe has been in wars for thousands of years now, I'm glad that time period is over for now...
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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:02 pm

BubbleBliss wrote:Yeah, I hear that all the time. You'll try to speak french to them, at least make an effort, and they correct every word you get even slightly wrong... Not to mention, they're pretty arrogant about their country.

Sounds like a certain guy we both know. ROFL
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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:58 pm

Sure does!
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