Spaniards sense waning influence in European Union

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Two out of three Spaniards believe Spain has little or no influence in the union, says new poll.

16 May 2008

MADRID - Two out of three Spaniards believe Spain has "little or no influence" in the European Union, according to a new opinion poll that confirms public perceptions of their country's waning influence in the world.

The survey, conducted in late March and April by the Real Instituto Elcano, a Madrid-based think-tank, comes as Spain's Socialist government finds itself increasingly isolated in Europe, following the election of right-of-centre leaders in Germany, France and, most recently, Italy.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents think Spain has "some" influence in EU decisions, while just four percent think it has a lot.

Nonetheless, 67 percent believe that the political and economic situation of the EU is "good or very good" and 71 percent applaud the choice of former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González to head a group of savants dedicated to outlining the EU's future course.

The possibility that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair could become the EU's first president generally produces an adverse reaction among Spaniards, with 45 percent against compared to 37 percent in favour.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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