Germans Trust Merkel on Economics - Obama on Foreign Policy
With U.S. President Barack Obama due to visit Berlin today, we have marked the occasion by asking 512 Germans about their trust in his leadership skills as well as those of their own leader, Angela Merkel.
The results are quite fascinating and rather divisive. The vast majority of Germans polled, 69.9 percent, believe that Angela Merkel is better suited for handling economic issues than Barack Obama. This comes amid the German chancellor’s tough and resolute handling of Europe’s financial crisis through strict policies of austerity.
Germany has continued to avoid the worst of the global downturn, with healthy employment and output figures, much to the appreciation of the country’s citizens. Meanwhile, Obama has struggled to ignite growth in an American economy weighed down by unemployment and debt.
In terms of foreign policy, Germans have much more faith in Barack Obama than Angela Merkel. 86.1 percent believe Obama is better suited at tackling the War on Terrorism, while 73.8 percent have more confidence in the American president when it comes to formulating policy on the Syrian civil war and Middle Eastern conflicts in general.
Indeed, Obama’s foreign policy has proven controversial – drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions have been criticised around the globe. Pushes to arm Syrian rebels have alarmed some observers on Capitol Hill, who fear the United States may be sucked into another Middle Eastern conflict where it has absolutely no interest. Nevertheless, Obama has been warmly praised for ending the war in Iraq and authorising the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Angela Merkel has largely shied away from such a ‘hands on’ foreign policy, content at avoiding involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts, apart from Germany’s ongoing commitment to the International Security and Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
This chart shows the results of a June 2013 survey among 512 Germans regarding their trust in the ability of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama to handle the political challenges they are currently facing.
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