6TH WAVE, MAY 2004 PRESS SUMMARY
Universe: Spanish population over 18 years of age.
Size of sample: N = 1,219 individuals.
Interview: By telephone (to the respondents? own
Sample: Stratified directly in proportion to the
distribution of Spain?s population, with proportional quotas
according to sex and age.
Deviation: ?2.9% (1.200n) for global data, p = q = 0.5
and a confidence interval of 95.5%.
Date of sample: Monday, May 10, to Tuesday, May 18,
Field work: Instituto INTERGALLUP S.A., member of THE
1. THE US AND THE FIGHT AGAINST
65% say they are against the
strategy the US is using to fight international terrorism,
while 30% agree with it.
This level of support is the
lowest among the European countries included in the March
survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, despite the
March 11 attacks. Opposition in Spain is similar to levels in
Morocco and Pakistan.
Source: PGAP and BRIE.
Also, in Spain a slightly
higher percentage, 75%, feel that the US is not sincere in its
fight against terrorism. Distrust of the US government in
Spain is even greater than in Muslim countries, where it is at
Source: PGAP and BRIE.
For 67% of
interviewees, the US seeks only to control the oil in the Near
East. Meanwhile, 54% believe the implicit goal of the war
against terrorism is to dominate the world.
This mindset, combined with the
news on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison,
has understandably led to enormous erosion of the US?s image.
On a scale of 0 to 10, it received a score of 3.9, compared
with 5 as reported in the first wave of the Barometer
(November 2002), putting it at the same level as Algeria and
Finally, 83% of Spanish people
believe the war in Iraq has been counterproductive in the
fight against terrorism. Among all the countries included in
the PGAP, Spain is again the most critical of the US
government, easily surpassing the 67% reported in Morocco.
Positive nor Negative
Source: PGAP and BRIE.
2. SUPPORT FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF SPANISH TROOPS FROM
As a result of the above, most
Spaniards (78%) agree with the Spanish government?s decision
to withdraw its troops from Iraq: 48% agree very strongly and
30% simply agree. Only 19% disagree.
However, only 58% agree that
the decision was made at the right time. Nearly 40% consider
it to have been made hastily.
Regarding the consequences of
withdrawing the troops:
- 73% believe it
will harm relations with the US, while 20% believe it will
- 72% feel that
it will improve relations with France and Germany, compared
with 20% who feel it will not.
- 57% think it
will improve relations with Arab countries, while 32% think
it will make them worse.
- The majority
(54%) do not believe that by withdrawing the troops Spain?s
prestige will suffer abroad, compared with 38% who agree.
- 49% think that
it reduces the risk of Spain suffering a terrorist attack,
compared with 43% who disagree.
As for the future, 50% would
agree with Spanish troops returning to Iraq if the UN
sanctions a multinational force there, while 42% disagree with
3. CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF 3-11
The majority (64%) think that
the 3-11 terrorist attack would not have happened if Spain had
not supported the US in Iraq, while 23% do not believe
On the same subject, 60% feel
that 3-11 was the result of Spain?s international policy.
Other reactions to 3-11
felt rage and indignation that someone could commit an act of
worried about security.
worried that the attack could affect the political situation
feared that the attack could affect our relations with other
Finally, only 20% were concerned that these events could
affect their jobs, etc.
Among the causes of Islamist
terrorism mentioned were:
Religious fanaticism (59%).
Opposition to US foreign policy (24%).
Poverty and social exclusion in Arabic countries (24%).
Hatred of the West and its values (21%).
Dictatorships in Arabic countries (16%).
Proposed solutions to
Development aid and cooperation with Arabic countries
Control of immigrants and mosques (34%).
Integration of immigrants into Spanish society (18%).
More police and security (17%).
Limiting Muslim immigration (15%).
against countries that foment terrorism (4%).
When asked what the greatest
threat to Spain is now, 45% replied that it is international
terrorism, 15% said ETA terrorism and 38% said both.
Regarding the future, 44% think
another attack on Spanish territory is likely, while a similar
percentage (46%) do not think so.
4. THE IMAGE OF ISLAM AND MOROCCO
The identification of Islamist
terrorism with religious fanaticism has led to a negative
attitude toward Islam, which is the lowest rated religion.
opinions from favourable ones, the resulting ranking is:
In reference to Muslims:
- 82% associate
the adjective ?religious?, compared with 13% who associate
?authoritarian?, compared with 13% ?democratic?.
- 62% ?strong?,
compared with 31% ?weak?.
- 57% ?violent?,
compared with 34% ?peaceful?.
Despite the connection of
Moroccan citizens with 3-11, although there is greater
rejection of this group, it does not extend to most of the
- Between 1996
and 2004 the percentage of Spaniards who would expel
Moroccans trebled from 7% to 19%.
- The percentage
of people who would not marry a Moroccan increased from 39%
Neither has Morocco?s image
worsened. As in winter 2002 (according to the results of the
Barometer), the country received a rating of approximately 3.5
points on a scale of 0 to 10. In any case, after Israel, with
3.1, the lowest rated countries are mostly Muslim: Iran (3.2),
followed by Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Libya (3.7).
5. SELFLESS INTERNATIONALISM
Although there has been
speculation that the 3-11 attack could cause the Spanish to
withdraw from an active foreign policy, 74% support an active
role for Spain in international politics.
Also, this percentage has not
varied since the winter of 2003, when it stood at 72%
according to the results of the 4th BRIE.
Spaniards see internationalism
more in humanitarian and cosmopolitan terms than in terms of
realism or national interest. They see it as a question of
contributing to the development of poor countries and
alleviating humanitarian crises, rather than defending
exclusively Spanish interests. Although there is also a
feeling that we should have power in the EU, there is no
desire to be a superpower. The ranking of preferences on
Spanish action abroad (on a scale of 1 to 4) is:
Development aid for third world countries: 3.5
Sending humanitarian aid in cases of crisis: 3.5
Having more power in the EU: 3
Having greater presence in international bodies: 2.9
Entering the G-8: 2.7
Diplomatic mediation in the Near East: 2.5
Exerting influence to favour Spanish interests: 2.5
Being a superpower: 2
As we can see, these
preferences are coherent with the solution proposed for
international terrorism, which is also based on cooperation
and development aid.
Finally, it must be emphasized
that Spain?s perceived power, rather than dropping, has
actually climbed a full point to 5.9 on a scale of 0 to 10. In
May 2003 (3rd wave of the BRIE) it stood at 4.9. It
is possible that the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the
resulting distancing from the US might have strengthened a
sense of autonomy and independent decision-making.
As a result of the selfless
internationalism discussed above, 51% of those interviewed
believe that specifically within the EU, ?for Spain, the
essential thing is to make headway with the European Union,
even if sometimes it is necessary to lose some power or some
benefits to our country?. This contrasts with the 41% who
agree that ?for Spain, the essential thing is to defend its
interests in Europe, even if there are conflicts with other
44% believe that ?in the long
term, the member states in the Union will cooperate on a
larger number of actions and policies (defence, economy,
etc.)? while 41% feel that ?there will be groups of states
cooperating in certain areas but not in others?. Compared with
February, there is a sense of greater optimism, as was
mentioned earlier. A few months ago, only 33% subscribed to
the scenario of unity.
Federalists (45%) and
inter-governmentalists (43%) are evenly divided. It should be
kept in mind that the February Barometer reported
inter-governmentalists at 76%. Since this latest poll took a
slightly different form, we cannot precisely determine if this
growth in federalism is real or is the product of different
ways of measurement.
Where undeniable consensus
exists is in the political design of the Union. Only 21%
defend the need for a ?directoire?, while the majority (73%)
support equality. Although the wording of the question is
slightly different than in February, the results are very
similar (12% and 80%). Nonetheless, the new wording reduces
the degree of polarization.
there is a perceptible return to Europe. Asked which country
is Spain?s best friend, 28.5% of Spaniards now think it is
France. Germany and the US are the next best friends, chosen
by approximately 15% of Spaniards. Between February and May a
significant change took place in the perception of
- The US fell
from 42% to 16%.
- France rose
from 12% to 28%, and Germany rose from 5 to 15%.
As for the limits of the EU,
the vision is an inclusive one. 62% think that Russia should
be a member of the EU and 56% think that Turkey should also be
The majority (58%) now believe
it is likely that the governments in the EU will manage to
reach an agreement to create a European Constitution this
year, in 2004, while 36% do not think this will be the
Spaniards are now more
optimistic than a few months ago. 39% thought this was
possible in February. This means there has been an increase of
Regarding voting intentions in
a hypothetical referendum on the European Constitution:
- 68% are in
- 3% are
- 6% would spoil their ballot.
- 8% would abstain.
It should be noted that there
was also a 6% increase in the percentage of votes in favour,
compared with the last BRIE poll in February of this year,
when it stood at 62%.
60% express interest in the
European elections in June, compared with 39% who do not.
Compared with February,
interest is also higher in this respect, with a 12-point
increase from the 48% reported in the 5th BRIE.