By Nils-Inge Kruhaug
The Pew Research Center regularly conducts surveys in a number of European countries, including to ask about people’s attitudes towards the United States and its leadership.
The latest survey, which was conducted between June and August this year, revealed that only 16 percent of those polled believe that Donald Trump pursues a wise policy towards the outside world.
83 percent answer that they have no confidence in the US president when it comes to this.
Comment: The clown and the emperor
Putin and Xi more popular
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping both enjoy greater trust among Europeans than Trump. 23 percent think Putin is pursuing a proper foreign policy, while 19 percent say the same about Xi.
German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is at the top of confidence in Europe, and three out of four (76 percent) believe she is “doing the right thing” in foreign policy.
French President Emmanuel Macron also does well in the survey and gets good grades from 64 percent, while 48 percent think the same about the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Vox in Spain
The Pew Research Center has also taken a closer look at who in Europe agrees with Trump and his policies and found a clear pattern.
He has the greatest confidence among those who vote for the far-right party Vox in Spain, an anti-immigration and anti-Islamic nationalist party.
The party’s slogan is to make Spain magnificent again, not unlike Trump’s slogan for the United States.
45 percent of Vox supporters in Spain trust Trump, while the percentage is 7 percent among other Spaniards.
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AfD in Germany
Trump also has many supporters among those who support the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The German security service keeps a close eye on the AfD, where several members over the years have expressed neo-Nazi sympathies and where part of the youth organization Junge Alternative a few years ago was dissolved for that reason.
34 percent of AfD’s supporters trust Trump, while the proportion is 5 percent among other Germans.
Also among supporters of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands, Trump has great support. Wilders has long been a guiding star among Europe’s anti-Islamic and anti-immigration opponents on the far right.
36 percent of the party’s supporters wholeheartedly support Trump, while the proportion is 10 percent among other Dutch people.
34 percent of those who support the somewhat more moderate right-wing nationalist and Islam critic Thierry Baudet and his party FvD in the Netherlands also trust Trump.
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The Sweden Democrats
In Sweden, it is supporters of the anti-immigration right-wing party Sweden Democrats who have the greatest sense of Trump, the survey shows.
Several of the party’s candidates over the years have had backgrounds in neo – Nazi and National Socialist circles, but party leader Jimmie Åkeson says that the party today has zero tolerance for extremism and xenophobia.
33 percent of the Sweden Democrats’ supporters trust Trump, while the proportion among other Swedes is 7 percent.
National Assembly and Forza Italia
Also among those who support the right-wing nationalist National Assembly – formerly the National Front – in France, the proportion who support Trump is high, 28 percent. This is almost five times more than among other French people, where the proportion is 6 percent.
The same is true in Italy, where 29 percent of those who support Matteo Salvini’s highly critical party, the Liga, have confidence in Trump’s policy towards the outside world. Among other Italians, the proportion is 10 percent.
27 percent of those who support Silvio Berlusconi and his right-wing populist party Forza Italia also like Trump, the poll shows.
“The view of Trump is more positive among Europeans who have a favorable view of right-wing populist parties, but trust is still relatively low in all groups,” concludes the Pew Research Center.
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