US poll opinion of France and Germany improves

19th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (AFP) - Americans have a better opinion of France and Germany now than when the two European countries opposed the war in Iraq, but France is not quite out of the dog house, according to a Gallup poll.

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (AFP) - Americans have a better opinion of France and Germany now than when the two European countries opposed the war in Iraq, but France is not quite out of the dog house, according to a Gallup poll.

While only 34 percent of Americans saw France in a favourable light last March, 47 percent view the French favourably now, according to poll released Wednesday.

The figure, however, is still a far cry from the 70 percent to 79 percent ratings France enjoyed in the 1990s, and many Americans, 49 percent, still view France unfavourably.

Politically, Republicans dislike the French the most. While 58 percent of Democrats view France favourably, 64 percent of Republicans have a low opinion of the war opponents. Germany is more popular than France.

Last March, 44 percent of Americans viewed Germany unfavourably, but only 26 percent feel that way now. The poll shows that 69 percent of Americans view Germany favourably.

Most Americans disliked Iraq until last year's US-led invasion, when 93 percent of Americans viewed Saddam Hussein's Iraq unfavourably.

In the latest poll, 21 percent view Iraq favourably while 74 percent do not.Saudi Arabia's image continues to deteriorate, a trend that began in 2001.

Two-thirds, or 66 percent, of Americans view the kingdom unfavourably. Last year, 61 percent viewed it in an unfavorable light.

Only 28 percent of Americans have a favourable opinion of Saudi Arabia, a two point drop from last year.

Australia, with 88 percent, and Britain and Canada, both with 87 percent, remain the United States' favourite countries.

They are followed by Japan (75 percent), Germany (69 percent), Mexico (68 percent), Brazil (66 percent), India (61 percent), Israel (59 percent), Russia (59 percent) and Egypt (58 percent).

The Gallup Organization has asked for 20 years if Americans' overall opinion of a country is "very favourable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable."

The February 9-12 poll included 22 countries and Gallup interviewed 1,002 adults.

© AFP

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