Cultural outreach

Overcoming the past?

Authored by: Gregory Paschalidis

The Routledge Handbook of German Politics & Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415686860
eBook ISBN: 9781315747040
Adobe ISBN: 9781317600152


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According to the BBC World Service Poll, which has been tracking opinions about country influence in the world since 2005, Germany was seen as the country with the most positive influence in the world during the whole of the period 2008–13, with the exception of 2012, when it fell to second place, behind Japan. 1 Excepting Greece, every country polled had a favourable view of Germany. The picture becomes even more impressive if we look across continents. The BBC’s findings approximate those of the Transatlantic Trends survey of 2012, according to which Germany was tied with the United States as the most favourably viewed country, rated favourably by 74 per cent of Europeans, 67 per cent of Americans, and 71 per cent of Russians. What cost Germany the top place was the significantly lower score it got in Spain (38 per cent), Portugal (40 per cent), and Italy (43 per cent). Those responses, like the response of Greece in the 2013 BBC poll, reflected popular discontent with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the public debt crisis in the countries of southern Europe.

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