The regular Transatlantic Trends survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund, in which Slovakia has been participating since 2004, has shown that Barack Obama still enjoys immense popularity in Europe.
While 19 percent of Slovaks supported the White House last year under President G. W. Bush, support has now increased to 71 percent, the Pravda daily reported. Europeans overwhelmingly support US President Barack Obama's foreign policy but his presidency has not lived up to all their expectations, an opinion poll published on September 9 showed. The survey, conducted between June 9 and July 1 in 12 European countries and the United States, found central and eastern Europeans were less enthusiastic than western Europeans, the Reuters newswire reported.
It also showed many Europeans want their nations’ troops pulled out of Afghanistan, despite Obama's planned US troop build-up, and would oppose the use of military force against Iran if diplomatic efforts failed to stop it securing nuclear arms. The good news for Obama, whose ratings have dropped in the United States since he took over from George W. Bush in January, was that 77 percent of respondents in the European Union and Turkey back his handling of international affairs.
Last year's survey showed Europeans had high hopes for Obama's presidency. He received a rapturous reception when he visited Germany in 2008 as a presidential candidate, and support levels remain particularly high there. But this year's poll found only 60 percent of central and eastern Europeans support his handling of foreign affairs, considerably less than the 86 percent in western Europe.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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