Opinions: How bigoted are the British?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
CHARLES MOREL, Austrian, retired librarian: The British are wonderful. If an Englishman tells you 'Yes' or 'No', he means it. On the continent you have to get it in writing. After a handshake with an Italian, you have to check you've still got five fingers. The British are also the most handsome race.

PAOLA OLIVETTI, Italian, student: I don't like the British, they are very intolerant, unfriendly and boring. When they come to Italy or any country they just want to do the same as what they do in England, go to an English pub and eat egg and chips. The British think that they are the best, and the pub is the only thing that matters.

HENRI DESOMBES, French, antique dealer: I think the British are incredibly tolerant; you know when they're angry only because they go green and completely silent. The French are the most bigoted nation in Europe, followed closely by the Italians.

BETTY KOVACS, Hungarian, journalist: A lot of British think they're very superior. It cuts across all classes. The Germans are the most intolerant - at least they have the worst track record, don't they?

HERMAT ZWEISS, Swiss, tourist office official: I've never had any problem; never with the ladies anyway] I think they're more diplomatic than their Swiss equivalent. Very charming . . .

ISHU SUCHDEAV, Indian, mining machinery executive: British people are timid and gullible; I do not find them rude. The French are the worst; they are obnoxious, ignorant and think that they are the best.

GOPE KERNARNI, Spanish, retailer: The British are not intolerant, no. Over here eveyone gets along fine.

MARGARET JACOT, German, teacher: I was once greeted with 'Heil Hitler' in a PE lesson. I was the children's first real-life German and they assumed that all Germans are Nazis. But I've been living here for 30 years and know how to deal with things like that. Generally I have no trouble with intolerance at all.

ALF BOE, Norwegian, director of Munch Museum in Oslo: I find the British very friendly, but they have lost some of their dignity. They have also got a new reputation for being corrupt in the business world. They've never been very tolerant of nationalities of a different colour. I still remember an ugly incident when I was at Oxford. The junior common-room of Trinity was evacuated because an Indian came in and sat down - and that was only in the Fifties.

(Photograph omitted)

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