Obama restores confidence in America
The election of US President Barack Obama has more than doubled German confidence in America, a study released this week by the Washington-based Pew Research Center reported.
Between 2008 and 2009, favourable opinion of the US jumped from 31 percent to 64 percent, the “Global Attitudes Project” found.
Germany’s almost euphoric reception of Obama is part of a resurgent US image that is nearly universal in Western countries, the study said.
“In France and Germany, no fewer than nine-in-ten express confidence in the new American president, exceeding the ratings achieved by Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel in their own countries,” a statement said on Wednesday.
This confidence rating in Germany spiked to a stunning 93 percent – up from just 14 percent when George W. Bush was still in office in 2008.
Opinions of America in key Latin American countries, Africa and Asia also improved, but the country is still met with animosity in the Middle East, the study conducted May 18 to June 16 found.
In Europe, approval of Obama’s international policies is also high. Some 84 percent of Germans back his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, while 64 percent said they believe the president will take a multilateral approach to his foreign policy. Obama’s plan to send more troops to Afghanistan was the only issue Germans frowned upon – here some 63 percent disapproved.
Despite the improvement in the image of the United States, 20 of the 25 nations polled said they felt the American economy was damaging their own economies – a sentiment that was also strong in 2008. In Germany, 72 percent said the US economic influence is negative, the same number as last year.
The Pew Research Center questioned 27,000 poll participants for the study.