Germans Trust Putin More Than Bush

Germans Trust Putin More than Bush

Frank Domoney kindly sends his translation of a Die Welt article that reports that over-all, the German public trusts Vladimir Putin more than it trusts George W. Bush. I was struck that it doesn’t trust either one very much, and that even in West Germany they are in a virtual tie. It is a sad commentary on the trans-Atlantic relationship, and is almost completely the fault of George W. Bush.

‘ Die Welt: US President calls Europeans to take part in joint working in spite of the differences over Iraq. The Germans trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than the American President George W. Bush.

Tasked by the Die Welt the renowned Opinion Polling Institute Dimap asked the opinion of Germans about the USA. The Russian president gets a greater degree of trust particularly in the East of the Republic, according to the results of a representative poll. While the average result across the Federal republic is 29% for Putin and 24% for Bush, in East Germany Putin reaches 37% (Bush 16%) In contrast in West Germany the value for Bush reaches 27%, for Putin 26%.

It is clear from the results of the poll that both presidents are greeted with scepticism in Germany. A majority of 37% trusts neither. Infratest Dimap polled 1000 citizens between 15 and 16 February 2005

In the meantime US President George W Bush yesterday again called the Europeans, during his visit to NATO and EU headquarters, to end the old conflict about the Iraq war, and walk a common path in the future. He understood “that the Iraq war had upset many Europeans” in unusual clarity. “The decision has however been taken, we must get over it, now it is time to work together in peace”. This is in the interest of the European lands as well as the US.

Bush praised the engagement of the alliance partners in the training mission in Iraq. “Every little helps” said the US President.

Although the Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schroeder’s suggestions on the reform of the Atlantic Alliance were not explicitly discussed at the meeting of the 26 heads of state and government, the theme could occupy them further in the coming months. NATO general secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that he would put on the table suggestions for a political reform of the alliance. Bush said that everyone had heard “loud and clear what the Bundeskanzler had said”. He alluded to the fact that NATO is the reason why Europe is today “United and Free”. It is vital for the transatlantic relationship; the only grouping that is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Schroeder himself said that it had “in fact given a great measure of agreement to strengthen the political dialogue”. The form would require further talks.

After the meeting with NATO seniors, Bush travelled to the centre of Brussels where he was guest in the afternoon of the 25 heads of state and government of the EU. Subsequently a visit to the EU commission lay on the agenda. At the EU the remaining unresolved subjects of conflict of the Transatlantic Relationship were to be discussed: The EU negotiations with Iran about their Atomic program, and the removal of the weapons embargo on China, which is supported by many EU states. ‘

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