Reader’s Digest Euro-Poll

The main Czech Daily Mladá fronta dnes today reports the results of a recent pan-European survey undertaken on behalf of Reader’s Digest (and conducted in nineteen countries) on the attitudes of European peoples towards each other and towards each other’s countries and cities. Given its location and function, the paper is obliged constantly to remind its readers that the Czech Republic (and, indeed, all of Central Europe) generally finishes rather low in all results (except for Prague, in the list of favorite European cities). But enough of that, it’s the results that are interesting – naming whoever needs to be named, without fear or favor – and they’re as follows (in order from the first-place on down, and with percentage results when available from the article):

  • People most favorably thought-of: Italians, then Spanish, then French.
  • People least favorably thought-of: Germans, then Russians, then French. (The French: Either you love ’em, or you hate ’em!)
  • Sexiest: Italians (named by 43% of respondents), Spanish (15%), French (14%). By the way, both the Czechs and Slovaks each picked up 1% here. Unfortunately, there is no indication in the article as to the gender breakdown (or, for that matter, the gender preferences) of the respondent sample.
  • Wittiest: The British (?!), Italians, then the French (perennially in third place!).
  • Most tolerant: The Dutch, Swedes, then – yes – the French.
  • Best cuisine: You might expect the French to finish better than third-place here, and you’d be right – they’re second: Italian, French, Greek.
  • Best place to live: Italy, Spain, France.
  • Which country has given most to the world? The UK, Germany (wait now: think classical music, literature, science!), and of course France. For some reason, Slovakia gets 1% here – Andy Warhol? – whereas the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland get zero. (What about Chopin? What about John von Neumann?)
  • And finally: Favorite European city: Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona, Prague. The MFDnes article proudly points out that Prague here beat out Venice, Florence, and Amsterdam.
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