In this year’s annual Country Ratings Poll by the BBC World Service, Germany came out as the most ‘positively viewed’ nation in the world. The survey was carried asking at least 26,000 people coming from 25 different countries, asking them to rate 16 countries and the European Union as a whole on whether the specific country’s influence on the world was either positive or negative.
Germany topped this year’s survey, with 59 percent of survey participants giving the European country a positive rating, this even as German government’s harsh austerity measures have proven unpopular even in other countries. The country has moved up three percentage points from its 2012 position, displacing Japan from first place, the Asian country seeing its own 58 percent positive rating last year to 51 percent this year, earning it fourth place in the polls. Even from Spanish respondents – who themselves are enduring suffering from stringent austerity practices due to a German-led financial rescue package – 68 percent of them said that they felt Germany had “a mainly positive influence in the world”. Respondents from Greece have given Germany the lowest rating in this poll, as anti-German protests have been seen in the country because of this fiscal belt-tightening.
Political analyst Alastair Newton, who works at Japanese investment bank Nomura, said that Germany’s popularity is no surprise, given the alternative choices. “There are lots of reasons why Germany is admired,” Newton said. “It is a large and important world economy, a world-class manufacturer and has a chancellor who demonstrates genuine leadership. The question also is, where else would it be? It is hardly likely to be the U.S., given their attitude to the Middle East, or China given Western and Japanese concerns on the country,” he added.
At the other end of the list, Iran was voted as the most negatively perceived country, with only 15 percent of respondents giving it a positive rating. Pakistan and North Korea, the latter mostly because of its nuclear development program that has caused so much uproar from the international community, also received low ratings.
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