BBC Poll: The World Doesn't Actually Hate Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a favorite target of hatred in recent months as the euro crisis continues to make life difficult for Southern Europeans. But a new BBC poll has found that most people actually have a positive view of Germany.
For a time in 2012, it seemed that hardly a day would go by without another protest in Southern Europe with signs depicting Chancellor Angela Merkel as a Nazi. Germany, according to the euro-crisis narrative then and now, is the evil virus causing the pain and suffering in austerity-strapped countries such as Spain, Greece and, more recently, Cyprus.
The results come as a surprise following a series of stories in recent months about the anti-German sentiment brewing in Europe as a result of the euro crisis. Indeed, with images of Merkel in swastika-bedecked SS uniforms becoming common almost to the point of cliché at anti-austerity protests, no less an authority than former Euro Group head Jean-Claude Juncker warned in March that there were "chilling" parallels with pre-World War I sentiment in Europe. The British magazine New Statesman even depicted Merkel as the Terminator on a cover last June, breathlessly calling her "Europe's most dangerous leader."
But if the BBC survey is to be believed, a majority disagree. Even in Spain and France, a majority have a high opinion of Germany. In Greece, however -- the country suffering the most from the euro crisis -- a majority said that Germany was a negative influence.
The United Kingdom saw the biggest gain over 2012, likely thanks to having hosted a successful Summer Olympics, while Japan plummeted seven points, falling from first to fourth. India and China also saw a significant drop in their popularity. Iran once again found itself at the very bottom of the list, with a positive rating of just 15 percent.
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