Spain gets top rating in EC popularity poll

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The Independent Online
SPAIN is the best-liked country in western Europe and Germany is the least popular, the first EC- wide survey of students shows, writes John Arlidge.

The poll, published yesterday by Ipsos, a Paris-based opinion research group, shows that Spain, France, and Italy are the most admired while Germany is the most rejected.

Britain is the fifth most popular with the Danes and Portuguese being more enthusiastic for the country than Britons.

Almost 70 per cent of students said Spain 'inspired liking', compared with 67 per cent for France, and 66 per cent for Italy. Britain and the Netherlands each scored 58 per cent.

Just over half the students said they liked Germany, while 14 per cent expressed 'rejection', the highest disapproval rating.

Almost three-quarters of Danes and Portuguese said they admired Britain, compared with 65 per cent of British students. Danes were also the most enthusiastic about their own country. Some 93 per cent expressed approval and only 1 per cent rejection.

Italian culture is the most popular: 33 per cent of students said that, excluding their home countries, Italian arts and ideas were most appealing, compared with 32 per cent for France, 25 per cent for Spain and 22 per cent for Britain and Greece.

Support for the European ideal was lowest in Portugal (9 per cent) and Britain (13 per cent), and highest in France (33 per cent) and Denmark (32 per cent).

Ipsos analysed questionnaires completed by 4,260 students at 200 colleges and universities in the 12 EC nations.