New study reinforces European racial stereotypes

Published:  21 May at 6 PM
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Would-be expats considering which European country is the most suitable for their retirement or holiday homes may find a recent survey very revealing.

The study was carried out by Pew Research Centre in Washington, and revealed that many traditional racial stereotypes still hold true in the 21st century. For example, the German people are seen as trustworthy, especially by the Spanish and the French.

The results of the survey, carried out across Europe, may seem a little confusing, as many nationals in the countries surveyed agreed with overseas estimates of their personal qualities. Italians are seen as untrustworthy by 18 per cent of Germans, 17 per cent of Spaniards and 23 per cent of their own countrymen, and the French are seen as arrogant by 26 per cent of their compatriots as well as by 30 per cent of Brits and 20 per cent of Germans.

Greeks and Germans have the best overall opinion of themselves as the most compassionate, least arrogant and most trustworthy of all Europeans, and Brits, Poles and Spaniards claim the least arrogance. European prime ministers were another focus of the survey, with Germany’s Angela Merkel losing her previous popularity, especially in Greece and marginally in the UK, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic as well as Germany.

David Cameron is considered one of the weakest leaders, particularly in the UK, with Greeks and Germans giving him a severe ‘thumbs down’. Francois Hollande fares even worse, with only a third of the French and slightly less Brits applauding his financial competence, and Germans vastly preferring his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The majority of those surveyed downgraded the present-day European political leaders, with former Italian PM Mario Monti at the bottom of the list for trust. The message for those looking to set up home overseas would seem to be that , as usual, nowhere is perfect.
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