EIGHTEENTH EDITION OF THE BAROMETER OF THE ELCANO ROYAL INSTITUTE (June 2008)
- Universe: General Spanish population, aged 18 and over.
- Sample size: N=1200 interviewees.
- Interview methodology used: Telephone (call to interviewee’s home).
- Sample structure: Stratified, directly proportionate to the distribution of the Spanish population with proportionate quotas according to age and sex.
- Sample error: ±2.9% for global data (1,200n); ±4.1% for sub-samples (800n), p=q=0.5 and a confidence interval of 95.5%.
- Survey period: Between 3 June and 21 June 2008.
- Fieldwork: Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico (GAD).
CONCERN REGARDING THE RISING COST OF FOOD AND OIL
- Rising food and oil prices are the main external threats, Spaniards say. Over 70% believe that these are very significant threats. Along the same lines, the world economic crisis is perceived as the second greatest concern.
- At the opposite extreme, Spaniards do not see the Latin American indigenous movements as a threat: at present only 16% are concerned by the issue.
CRITICISM OF EVO MORALES AND HUGO CHÁVEZ
- Looking more closely at this issue by asking specific questions, 48% of respondents think that relations between Spain and Bolivia have deteriorated with Evo Morales as President, while over 60% feel that the nationalisation of the gas sector has been detrimental to Spain.
- Still on the subject of Latin America, a majority of 52% believes that the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez provides help of some kind to Colombian guerrilla forces.
- While more Spaniards believe that the incident at the Chile Summit has been resolved (50%) than those who think it has not (35%), Chávez remains the lowest-ranked Latin American leader, with 2 on a scale of 0 to 10.
- Finally, Spaniards have a much better opinion of Latin American immigrants in Spain than they have of Moroccan or Eastern European immigrants. 38% think that they are the immigrants who contribute most to Spanish society, while only 2% say this of Moroccans.
AMBIVALENCE TOWARDS IMMIGRATION
- Most Spaniards feel that immigration is both good and bad for Spain. This is the opinion held by 53%, although 36% say that it is totally positive. Only 10% openly consider it negative.
- Spaniards believe that immigrants overload public services such as healthcare (61% agree with this statement), but at the same time 51% think that immigrants help support the pension system through their Social Security contributions.
- In this regard, 78% agree that immigrants rejuvenate Spanish society, although 87% also think that fights between gangs of young immigrants are a significant public safety problem.
- Fifty-four percent think that immigrants do not adapt to Spanish culture, but at the same time 72% believe they help enrich and diversify it.
- As for immigration policy, 63% support the return of legal immigrants in times of economic difficulty.
- Eighty-six percent also think that stricter legislation in other European countries could encourage more to come to Spain.
A POOR OPINION OF BERLUSCONI
- As we have seen, Spaniards do not seem to agree with measures such as those announced by the Italian president Silvio Berlusconi to criminalise immigration.
- In this regard, 67% of Spaniards consider Berlusconi a xenophobe, while the same percentage thinks that his statements and initiatives contributed to recent attacks against immigrants in Italy.
- It is therefore not strange that Berlusconi is the lowest ranked EU leader, with a rating close to that of the lowest-ranked world leaders ?Bush, Putin and Hu Jintao?.
THE LISBON TREATY
- Still on the subject of Europe, but moving on to the new situation after the ?No’ victory in the Irish referendum, 51% believe it marks the start of a new crisis in the EU, although public opinion is quite divided, with almost 40% disagreeing with this statement.
- In any case, 61% believe the ratification process should continue, while only one in four Spaniards think it should stop.
- At the same time, a majority (57%) also think that after the Irish ?No’, the Treaty should be revised, as was done after the failure of the French and Dutch referendums.
- Moving on to the recent issue of the EU, an overwhelming 80% are against extending the work day.
- However, Spaniards are again divided regarding EU defence policy, with 40% in favour and 40% against increasing military spending in order for Europe to stop depending on the US.
A POSITIVE IMPRESSION OF THE SPANISH ARMED FORCES
- Delving further into defence issues, the Spanish have a positive opinion of Spanish missions abroad, all of which receive similar approval ratings of around 50%.
- The vast majority of Spaniards have a positive opinion of the Spanish Armed Forces: a full 90%.
- Eighty percent think that the Armed Forces have a better image than they did under the Franco regime or even during the transition to democracy.
- The inclusion of women has undoubtedly contributed to this positive image, since 90% feel this has been very positive for the Armed Forces.
- And along the same lines, 80% of Spaniards approve the choice of a woman, Carme Chacón, as Defence Minister.