Since 2008, the BBC has been conducting a poll to see which countries are viewed the most positively. In the last 4 years, Germany has repeatedly topped the charts. This year however, Japan beat it out by a few percentage points. The change probably reflects the controversies that Germany has been involved in since last year, its insistence on austerity measures certainly included. But who can say in an anonymous poll like this? Much of the decreased approval seemed to come from other Western countries, which makes sense when you think about it. Approval from Spain dropped 14% and disapproval rose by 15%, which probably has to do with the cucumber scare from earlier last year. Whatever the sociopolitical reasons behind it, Germany is still very beloved. Only Pakistan viewed it more negatively than positively. As a matter of fact, only Canada was seen less negatively. It’s economy was cited as its biggest contribution to the world and its most positive influence. Its foreign policy was seen as its next biggest contribution, which also makes sense because of Germany’s overwhelmingly peaceful stance worldwide.
The poll itself is pretty interesting and is worth a look. The whole thing can be found here.