Germany Most Beloved!

Here’s another entry in the series we seem to have fallen into lately of “Countries Tooting Their Own Horns.” We already have learned, from the Danish, that the Danish economy can be a “supermodel” for the rest of the world, and (from the Belgians) that Belgium is the most-globalized country. Now, as a current article in Die Welt puts it, Germany is the most-beloved state in the world!

Ah yes, we know – those cuddly Germans! But wait: looking beyond the headline, what this is really all about is a worldwide poll, undertaken yearly for the BBC World Service by the firm GlobeScan, asking respondents to react to a list of fifteen prominent countries by stating whether, in each case, they feel that country has a positive or a negative influence on world affairs. This year, for the first time, Germany was tops, with 61% positive and only 15% negative. Canada was second (57/14), the UK was third (58/19).

(OK, the UK was third even with a slightly-higher positive rating than Canada; obviously GlobeScan uses some ranking formula that combines the two inputs. The good thing about this poll is that the sample was a rather-large 13,575 people, from among 21 countries. The bad thing is that I can’t find any mention of it on the BBC World Service website or any affiliated BBC webpages.)

And the losers? In tenth place was China, at 39/40 – yes, despite those marvelous Summer Olympics. In eleventh place came the USA, with 43% evaluating its influence on world affairs as negative (40% positive). Keep in mind that this poll was conducted after Barack Obama was elected president last November 4 – but at least that negative rating for the Americans is down from the 48% that it was in last year’s poll. Then Russia at twelfth place (30/42). Israel is at fourteenth place (21/51), but at least the Jewish state beats out Pakistan (17/53).

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