NEWS

Greeks most wary in EU of US policy

The Greeks are keen Europeans and are mostly in favor of a stronger European Union. At the same time, they also show the lowest support among all EU nations for US foreign policy, with 91 percent of them believing America plays a negative role, a Eurobarometer poll has found. Early results from the poll conducted among EU countries from March 18 to April 30 (coinciding with the US-led war in Iraq), found that most Europeans favor the development of a common foreign and security policy; are increasingly skeptical about the US role in the world; have slightly less confidence in the Commission and the European Parliament; know little about the work of the Convention; are generally in favor of the idea of an EU constitution; continue to support the Union and its main policies; are a little less positive regarding enlargement. Regarding the role of the United States on a range of issues, the Greeks showed themselves far and away the most skeptical of Europeans, even though the survey showed that an average of 58 percent of the 16,410 Europeans polled have a negative view of America’s role regarding peace in the world. A full 91 percent of the 1,003 Greeks polled have a negative view of US policy on this issue. Only 4 percent have a positive view of the USA in this respect, with France in second place with 11 percent who see Washington playing a positive role for peace in the world. In the fight against terrorism, 80 percent of Greeks have a negative view of the USA (compared to the EU average of 35 percent with a negative view and 45 percent with a positive one). Some 67 percent of Greeks polled said the EU should take decisions regarding European defense policy, with only 1 percent saying NATO should (against an EU average of 49 percent opting for the EU and 14 percent opting for NATO). In no European country does the majority of the population believe the USA plays a positive role for peace in the world, in fighting world poverty and protecting the environment. Only in Britain (68 percent), the Netherlands (56 percent) and Ireland (53 percent) does a majority believe America plays a positive role in the fight against terrorism.