Germans' favourite European country? Easy: Germany

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 16 Sep, 2016 Updated Fri 16 Sep 2016 11:58 CEST
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In a representative survey of German citizens, 47 percent named one country as particularly close to their hearts. The second favourite was behind by a country mile.

While it was slightly more popular among men than women, Germany was still the favourite for both genders when choosing among the 28 European Union nations.

The survey carried out by YouGov for DPA and published on Friday showed that 51 percent of men and 44 percent of women held this opinion.

In a distant second place came Italy, which has held a romantic attachment for Germans ever since the times of Goethe.

Women were slightly more likely to name Italy as their favourite country than men, at 8 percent compared to 5 percent.

East Germans living in the former communist GDR seemed to have a soft spot for the chilly north, liking Sweden just as much as Italy. But in the west, Spain came just behind the boot-shaped peninsula.

On the national level, Spain - a popular summer vacation spot for Germans - was the third most popular country, winning the thumbs up of 6 percent of respondents. Sweden, France and Austria were all named as favourite country by four percent.

The Netherlands, Greece and Ireland each gained three percent.

When the choice was narrowed down to the countries neighbouring the Bundesrepublik, respondents still kept it in the Sprachfamilie, with 26 percent saying Austria was their favourite, followed by the Netherlands (17 percent), and France (13 percent).

Unsurprisingly, geography played a significant role, with the people of North Rhine-Westphalia, which borders the Netherlands, most commonly choosing that as their favourite neighbour, and the people of southwestern Rhineland-Palatinate choosing France.

The people of Saxony were  the exception, plumping for Austria even though they have a common border with the Czech Republic.

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