More than 26,000 people in 25 countries from around the world were asked in the opinion survey to rate 16 countries on whether their global influence was “mainly positive” or “mainly negative”. Europe’s largest economy, Germany, which has been criticized for not doing enough to help struggling euro zone countries, has reached the 1st rank with 59 percent of survey participants giving it a positive rating.

Surprising survey results

Only Greece maintains its Germanophobia, with 52% giving a negative rating.

Reasons in this surprising opinion survey result can be seen as a reward for “diligent German diplomacy. Government ministers frequently tour countries with markets for German goods, or countries like Mongolia with raw materials for German products”, says BBC’s analyst Stephen Evans.

Throughout Europe were high positive ratings for Germany. Even in recession-hit countries like Spain and France – though not in Greece. “In Britain, it was even higher at 78%. In France 81% – the poll indicates that four in every five French people look over the border with approval!” continues Evans.

BBC opinion survey: Germany most popular country in the world


While Iran was once again the most negatively viewed, saw the UK a bigger increase in positive ratings than any other country and climbed to third place in the table, probably due of its hosting of the Olympic Games in London 2012.

The previously positive views of China and India have fallen sharply over the last year. For China it is the lowest level since the BBC started its opinion surveys in 2005.

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