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Swedes like the US more than the EU: study

Swedes like the US more than the EU: study

Published: 17 Sep 2012 16:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Sep 2012 16:17 GMT+02:00

Swedes have a more favourable opinion of the United States than they do of the European Union, according to a new study, which also found Sweden to have the lowest opinion of Israel of any EU country.

A total of 67 percent of Swedes reported having a positive view of the United States, compared with only 64 percent saying they have a favourable opinion of the EU.

The figures come from the 2012 Transatlantic Trends Survey carried out by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the results of which were published on Monday.

The findings also revealed that, aside from Turkey, Sweden the lowest opinion of Israel, with 68 percent of Swedes registering a negative opinion of the country.

"That's something that is very serious and which I think we need to consider," Anna Jardfelt, head of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet), told the TT news agency.

She added that the numbers don't necessarily point to underlying anti-Semitism among Swedes, theorizing instead that the results may have something to do with Sweden's relationship with Israel or the conflict in the Middle East.

The report also found that a majority of Swedes believed recent military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya were the right thing to do.

The Transatlantic Trends report found that 56 percent of Swedes think the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do, while 62 percent felt the same way about the intervention in Afghanistan.

In the case of Libya, 68 percent of Swedes thought the recent military campaign was the right thing to do, the highest figure reported in all of the countries polled in the study.

And while 48 percent of Swedes are against military intervention in Syria, 44 percent were positive toward sending troops, a figure second only to France (45 percent) among those countries polled.

"These are rather special figures we see for Sweden," said Jardfelt.

The report also found that Swedes have the most negative view of Russia among the countries included in the report, which was based on responses from 12 EU member states, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.

Only 23 percent of Swedes have a positive view of Russia, compared to 32 percent of Germans.

Swedes were also among those with the most critical views of China, with only 34 percent registering a positive opinion of the country.

Swedes' scepticism toward the common European currency was evidenced as well, with 84 percent of Swedes saying that the euro had a negative impact on their economy, a 17 percent increase from results of the 2011 Transaltantic Trends report.

Nevertheless, Swedes remained largely satisfied the way that finance minister Anders Borg and the government have handled the economic crisis, with 74 percent approving of how the crisis was managed, the highest figure recorded for any country in the study.

When it comes to US presidential politics, 71 percent of Swedes said they approved of US president Barack Obama's management of international policies and 79 percent would vote for him if they could in the upcoming US elections.

However, Republican challenger Mitt Romney has considerably less support among Swedes: only 4 percent would vote for him, among the lowest figures recorded in the report.

The Transatlantic Trends report is an annual survey of US and European public opinion and is based on responses gathered by the TNS Opinion polling firm in June 2012.

Sweden was included in the survey for the first time in 2011, with Russia being added for the first time this year. Other EU member states included in the study are Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

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Your comments about this article

17:12 September 17, 2012 by skogsbo
wow, a group in the USA, has found that the USA is 3% more popular than the EU in Sweden, given that the EU is slow motion train crash and that Swedes are not members of the Euro, it's hardly a revelation. It's hardly a great ecolade to boast about, "i'm 3% more popular than a state that's on the brink of a total economic crash and likely to bring half the western world down with it!"

But despite their love of the USA, their view of Israel is very low, which is odd considering with Israel/USA it's cause and effect, or effect and cause, depending on your view point. Unless of course they weren't asking all the people the same full list of questions.
17:21 September 17, 2012 by nlidukdese
Oh my, apples and oranges anybody? How could you possibly get any meaningful results when asking people to compare a country (US) with a political construct (EU)?

I'm amazed, first of all, that groups conducting these studies (presumably for nice money) don't seem to employ people who actually understand the theory and practice of questionnaire-based research, and second, that the media appears to lack any capacity to evaluate these results with a critical eye before publishing them.

Oh, and Israel is not part of the EU.
17:30 September 17, 2012 by skogsbo
that's the thing, even if you had a field of a say 10,000 people from all parts of Sweden, all ages groups, social classes and background, you asked them all exactly the same questions, at exactly the same time (so they weren't swayed by anything in the news on different days) etc.. and you get a swing of just 3% between two nation states, which themselves are like comparing chalk and cheese.. it's meaningless drivel, but easy money for the company taking the research money every year.
18:12 September 17, 2012 by Abe L
Strange results, doesn't add up with the Swedes around me. I fully understand the dislike of China but without further information don't really understand the dislike of Russia and Israel. Russia will only become a more valuable trading partner in the next years and shouldn't be not be treated with a negative attitude.

Where is India in the survey? At the rate it's stealing jobs and wealth from the western countries it can't be high in people's views either.
18:38 September 17, 2012 by Iraniboy
I think one should conclude more carefully when reading through these results. The result doesn't mean Swedes like American people and dislike Europeans, Russians or Israelis.

The positive result for the US is mainly due to socialist values recently presented by Obama. It clearly shows by their extremely low support for Romney.

The negative result for EU is economical not culteral or social aspects. Swedes do not like how the economy is handeled in the EU.

And finally the negative result for Israel and Russia is mainly due to their governts' disrecpect for human rights and lack of morality and not the people themselves.
19:53 September 17, 2012 by cattie
Thia ia a ridiculous comparison. Swedes are member of the EU and EU taxpayers. They are distant observers of the USA ... and most of their opinion is formed from entertainment and multi-national brands.

It would be as if you imagine the homeowners association of the building across the pond is better run than your own.
21:37 September 17, 2012 by Uncle
iraniboy

"And finally the negative result for Israel and Russia is mainly due to their governts' disrecpect for human rights and lack of morality and not the people themselves"

Oh, yeah. The amazing morality of Syrians, who killed more muslims in 3 months than Israelis in 20 years, is way higher! Or iranis, who imprisoned more muslims in 3 days of demonstrations than Israel in 20 years. Or perhaps Sudan? Lybia? Pakistan? Yemen? Somali? Tunisia? Mmm. These are THE moral examples. Especially the exploding, burning and beheading because of caricatures or films. Hey, Turks are also lovely with their armenian history and that little cute half-island called Cyprus in the south...

Israel stands ahead of France, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Greece and IRAN in satisfaction with Life Index, ahead of Austria, Belgium, Finland and IRAN in Human Development Index. It is 15th in the world in Happy Planet Index, while Iran is not in the first 50.

The sole reason for dislike is the antisemitic campaign of the raging barbarians, who do not let a Jew with yamaka to pass on the streets of Malmö.

It is propagated in universities, in schools, in left wing parties. It is made fashionable to spread photoshopped pictures and make reports "organ stealing" style. It is a big no-no to say that the population of Israel is similar to that of Switzerland and the size smaller than Västra Götaland.

It is a huge no-no to talk about 30 million Kurds, 30 million Berbers, palestinians in Lebanona, Syria and Jordan. Hindu population constituted 22% of Pakistani population in 1951. Now it is1,7% - through murder and expulsion.

Through lies, one can invent whatever stories and divert focus to correct direction.

Parts of the campaign is directly sponsored by salafist governments, who realised the potential in anti-Semitism masked as anti-zionism already in the 90's in top universities in Europe.

This is why Swedes are IN LOVE with the highly moral islamists, but dislike eeeh.. jew... no, Israel.
23:52 September 17, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Sweden is multiculturalist, meaning it supports the Middle East sans Israel. As for Jewish people, they've always been looked down upon there, even before the influx of African and ME immigrants.

The Jewish tradition of productiveness and Aristotelian philosophy doesn't gel with Swedish culture.
00:55 September 18, 2012 by wxman
Well, there you have it. Irrefutable proof that the US is headed in the wrong direction.
01:44 September 18, 2012 by Eric1
If Obama wins this election the American people will have done to themselves what Hilter, Stalin, Muslim terrorist, the civil war, couldn't do. They will help Obama destroy the economy (deliberately) and send us into Third World status. God help us.
05:30 September 18, 2012 by Coolsitter
Eric 1

I couldn´t said it better! The Swedish people are unfortunately mostly uninformed about Obama, (read "brain washed") by the relentless european liberal propaganda through TV and the Press. The Swedes opinion of Obama and Romney is sadly far removed from the real truth about these two men.
08:35 September 18, 2012 by adshasta
@eric1, You throw your words out with nothing to back it up with. The gop are the biggest bunch of dead beat tax evaders on the planet. Just look at Romney's tax returns..., Oh yah!! You can't do that can you? What a slime ball!!!!
09:24 September 18, 2012 by fakeempire
eric1 - Are you serious? You seriously think America is going to turn into a 3rd world nation because of Obama? You're an idiot. But good job trolling.
09:50 September 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
We don't know how Obama because part of this discussion. Anyway, it makes sense of that Swedes like a single nations more that an amalgamation of several countries. It would have been create to so the like EU in more detail.
10:19 September 18, 2012 by Twiceshy
The EU is just getting bad news lately due to the € crisis, but in many ways it's still vastly superior to the US. Just to give two examples: workers rights and lack of death penalty.
10:58 September 18, 2012 by rubble
@ all the Yankee trolls of both mainstream stripes.....Anyone who truly thinks that there is a spittles worth of diffrence between Bankster Puppet Blue (Obama) and Bankster Puppet Red (Romney) is simply a sheep getting ready for the shearing.

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy."

- Carrol Quigley, Tragedy and Hope
11:39 September 18, 2012 by cogito
"...Romney's tax returns..., Oh yah!!... What a slime ball!!!!. #12

Ah, all the cogent eloquence of the typical O. zealot, exclamation points and all.

Romney's tax returns are uninteresting. He's rich. Deal with it.

What would be interesting would be Obama's college applications and scholastic records, which he had put under seal the day he took office. Any idea why?

@Tiny Red Ant. I think the thread took a detour because the "study" is so silly.
16:24 September 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
The study was not on one question. This article selected some information that it viewed would be interesting to thelocal's readership. The is common for these kind of studies to be done. Honestly, some comments are off topic and very uninformative. The reason is that have nothing to do with Sweden's view of global issues.
17:30 September 18, 2012 by smilingjack
what a surprise. a group of people who walk around draped in usa flag scarfs, jumpers, shoes, shorts, shirts and hats are fond of the the usa image. I guess it has more to do with the education level of swedes. sweden should be embarrassed by its populations complete sycophancy to the USA.

try walking around stockhom for 5 minutes without coming across a yank flag or a teenager draped in usa emblems from head to toe. then count how many other flags you come across. Nil will be the answer. Sweden is the USA's cheap bitch.
18:44 September 18, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ #10 and @ #11

And you pretend that McCain/Palin would have done so much better?

During the military action that Russia took in Georgia in 2008, McCain wanted Georgia immediately admitted to Nato (saying: 'We are all Georgians now') so that the US and her allies could and should immediately station troops there to confront Russia.

So McCain basically was willing to start a THIRD overseas war, with Russia, while it was already clear that two ongoing wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, were steadily bankrupting America, producing nothing of net worth, and killing or wounding (physically and mentally) thousands of Americans each year.
19:46 September 18, 2012 by flintis
67% of how many Swedes, must be the the ones that work at the US embassy.

What a load of typical American Bull ****, problem being a lot of gullible people will beleive this propoganda
20:59 September 18, 2012 by cogito
#20 Reason and Realism,

Neither of the posts that you rant at mention Sarah Palin.

Have you considered medication to help your obsession with her?
10:33 September 20, 2012 by smilingjack
uncle

Through lies, one can invent whatever stories and divert focus to correct direction.

sounds like israel to me.

how many muslims have died at the hands of the gross land stealing, occupation, torture and prolonged restriction of food and medicine from Palestine?

jews should get a life and lose the giant chip on their shoulders.

you forgot to mention the huge debt in israel. the borders will go back to pre 1967 and israel will go to war - without the USA - and get it good. as no one cares one iota about the racist, most religious extreme people on the planet - the jews. no one. every person on the planet can cop criticism - but not gods chosen people.

lighten up and change your attitude or end up in a crater of your own doing
14:34 September 20, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ cogito

Rather than defend McCain's proposal to seek a military confrontation against Russia in Georgia in 2008, as a loyal Republican supporter might be expected to do, you insist instead of drawing attention to Sarah Palin. Even the dimmest lightbulbs among GOP supporters know that they should NOT highlight this shining example of Republican stupidity, and yet you hurl her back into the spotlight at every opportunity, which speaks volumes about your infantile attitude and lack of intellect. With every post you are converting some independents and probably even some Republicans to the Democratic ticket. Keep up the good work. In any event I will not respond to any more of your posts.
12:01 October 8, 2012 by RosemarysBaby80
None of the Swedes I know would say they're fonder of the US than the EU.

Makes me wonder who they asked. Idiotic teenagers? In love with MTV, Justin Bieber, and pro skateboarders.

Or perhaps, this survey is total crap. Merely being used to inflate Americans already overly FAT opinion of themselves.

Some good music, movies and TV shows does not make America a good place. It's a hole.

Trust me, I've been there.
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