Obama ratings decline in Germany, Russia, Brazil

Obama ratings decline in Germany, Russia, Brazil
Sat Jul 19, 2014 14:36:56

Revelations of the National Security Agency’s global spy program, together with civil strife in Ukraine have severely damaged Barack Obama’s popularity among Brazilians, Germans and Russians, a major US polling agency reports.

Thanks to a series of global scandals, the US in general, and its commander-in-chief in particular, have suffered a drop in favorability among the majority of countries polled by Pew Research, Russia Today reported on Friday.

"In 22 of 36 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2014, people are significantly less likely to believe the US government respects the personal freedoms of its citizens," the report said.

Among privacy-loving Germans - many of whom have even refused to allow the Google Maps car to film their homes - Obama’s reputation nosedived when it was revealed that the NSA was collecting communication metadata not only on average Germans, but also on Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose personal mobile phone had been hacked by US intelligence.

Germans' confidence in Obama sunk to 71 percent, 17 points down from 2013.

"In 22 of 36 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2014, people are significantly less likely to believe the US government respects the personal freedoms of its citizens."

Tensions between NATO’s two biggest members escalated this month German authorities arrested a Defense Ministry official suspected of passing secrets to the US. This shocking incident came just one week after the arrest of a German intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Americans.

German authorities took the unprecedented step of ordering the expulsion of the Berlin CIA station chief.

"Revelations that Washington systematically reads both Americans' and some foreigners' emails and listens in on their telephone conversations appears to have significantly damaged Obama's approval in only one European Union country: Germany," Pew reported.

Brazilians' confidence in the first black American leader dropped from 69 percent in 2013 to 52 percent presently. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was also the victim of NSA snooping on her personal communications, expressed her anger at those revelations by canceling an official visit to Washington in October.

Finally, Russia, which is watching neighboring Ukraine teeter on the edge of full-blown civil war, sees an American hand provoking the situation behind the scenes, especially after former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich decided against signing as association agreement with the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Moscow. The decision sparked a violent showdown in the capital Kiev, which has led to nationwide civil strife that continues today.

"Russian faith in Obama, already quite low in 2013, is down 14 points (to 15 percent), a likely casualty of the Ukraine confrontation," Pew said.


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