17th Edition of the BRIE (April 2008)

17th Edition of the BRIE (April 2008)

Press Summary


  • Universe: General Spanish population, aged 18 and over.
  • Sample size: N = 1,200 interviewees.
  • Interview methodology used: 740 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 26 March and 9 April 2008.
  • Field work: Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico (GAD).


  • Spaniards think that foreign policy was not granted the importance it deserves in the previous parliamentary period.

Now that the parliamentary term is over, how much attention did the Zapatero government pay to foreign policy compared to other areas?

  • Neither do they believe that it received due attention in the election campaign.

During the debates between the presidential election candidates, how important do you think foreign policy was?

  • They hope foreign policy will acquire more weighting in the next parliamentary term.

And how much importance do you expect the next government to attach to foreign policy?

  • Quite coherently, Spaniards support the armed forces’ missions abroad because they are peace missions and because of Spain’s international commitments, which equally justify its presence in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo and Bosnia.

What is your view of the presence of Spanish troops in…?


  • In accordance with this role which people would like Spain to play in the international arena,Spaniards welcome the designation of Felipe González as Chairman of the so-called ‘reflection group’ on the future of the EU.

The EU has recently designated Felipe González to lead the ‘reflection group’ to consider the Union’s future. What do you think of this?

  • PP voters also supported this appointment, although they were less categorical than PSOE voters.
  • Spaniards also expressed their desire to participate in this debate.

Do you think that European citizens should be able to participate in this debate in some way?

  • The survey evidences some frustration in the wake of the referendum on the Constitutional Treaty: Spaniards believe that the EU does not listen to its citizens, or that it listens only to those of countries such as France.

Do you think that the European authorities care about what European citizens think?: yes, absolutely; they only care about countries like France; not at all.

  • Nevertheless, they welcome the Lisbon Treaty.

What is your opinion of the Lisbon Treaty that replaces the Constitutional Treaty which was put to referendum in Spain?

  • In this connection, if the EU listened to Spaniards, Blair could not be President of the EU. This would appear to be a punishment for the Iraq war.

The EU is set to appoint a President. The possible candidates include Tony Blair. What would you think of such an appointment?

  • The left-wing voters react most negatively, with 62% considering it a bad or very bad choice, whereas 51% of voters from the centre and 43% of right-wing voters would welcome it.

Reaction to the choice of Tony Blair as EU president, by self-styled ideological position


  • Despite the time elapsed, Spaniards still think that the Iraq war was not worth it.

The fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq was marked recently. Do you think the war was worth it?

  • In fact, they believe the Iraqis are worse off now than under Saddam.

In your view, are the Iraqis better off, the same or worse off now than under Saddam Hussein?

  • As for the forthcoming presidential elections in the US, Spaniards prefer a Democrat to a Republican, and they prefer Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton.
  • However, as expected, Obama’s most fervent supporters are young people.
  • They believe that Obama will bring a change in US foreign policy.

Do you think that if Obama wins the elections there will be a change in US foreign policy?

  • Furthermore, Obama would be the most beneficial candidate for Spain.

Of the three candidates, which do you think is best for Spain’s interests?


  • Although the war on terror, in particular Guantánamo and the CIA’s secret flights, tarnished the image of the US, Spaniards currently believe that China has less respect for human rights than the US does.

In your view, which country has most respect for human rights?

  • Spaniards believe that China does not respect human rights, that China is not pressing for an end to the genocide in Darfur and that it should grant Tibet more autonomy.
  • Spaniards value the Dalai Lama considerably more than the Chinese President.

Could you tell me what degree of trust you have in the following personalities?

  • However, most Spaniards are not in favour of a Spanish boycott of the Olympic Games.

Would you be in favour of Spain boycotting the Olympic Games as a means of pressure to persuade the Chinese authorities to respect human rights?