23rd Edition of the BRIE (March 2010)

23rd Edition of the BRIE (March 2010)

Press Summary


  • Universe: general Spanish population, aged 18 and over.
  • Sample size: N = 1,200 interviewees.
  • Interview methodology used: telephone (interviewee called at home).
  • Sample size: stratified, directly proportionate to the distribution of the national population, with proportionate quotas according to age and gender.
  • Sample error: ±3% for global data (1,200n); ±4.0% for sub-samples (600n), p = q = 0.5 and a confidence interval of 95.5.
  • Survey period: from 25 February to 10 March.
  • Field work: Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico (GAD).


  • Missions carried out overseas by the Armed Forces enjoy broad support, especially in the case of Operation Atalanta.

How do you view the presence of Spanish troops in…?

  • Very positive
  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Very negative

Graph 1. Assessment of overseas missions by the Spanish military: percentages of positive (‘very positive’ or ‘positive’) answers and negative (‘negative’ or ‘very negative’) answers

  • In recent months support has increased for overseas missions, in particular the one in Afghanistan.

Graph 2. Evolution of the assessment of the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan, BRIE 13 to 23


  • One of every two Spaniards (45%) thinks there are links between Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and ETA.

Do you think Hugo Chávez has collaborated with ETA?

Graph 3. Has Hugo Chávez collaborated with ETA?

  • There has been a major decline in people’s assessment of Chávez, by half a point in the past year.

Graph 4. Evolution in the average rating of Hugo Chávez, BRIE 15 to 23

  • Chávez is now the lowest-rated international leader, earning a score of 2 on a scale running from 0 to 10. However, Spaniards still think highly of Venezuela. Its rating as a country is much higher than that of Iran or Israel, the countries that received the lowest scores from Spaniards.

Graph 5. Average rating of leaders on a scale of 0 to 10

  • Raúl Castro, with a score of 2.6, joins Chávez in this group of lowest-rated leaders.
  • It is also significant that most Spaniards –72%– do not feel the international community’s pressure on Cuba over human rights is sufficient.

In your opinion, is the pressure that the international community exerts on Cuba to respect human rights sufficient or insufficient?

Graph 6. Is the pressure that the international community exerts on Cuba…?

  • The percentage of those in favour of stepping up pressure is somewhat greater among conservative voters than among those on the left: 78% compared with 67%. But both call for more pressure.

Graph 7. Opinion on international pressure on Cuba over its human rights record, by how people describe themselves ideologically


  • On the opposite extreme from Chávez and Castro, Barack Obama continues to be the highest-rated leader.
  • Few of those interviewed –only 18%– believe Obama skipped the EU-US summit in Madrid because of Spain’s poor image. The largest percentage (33%) think it was because of his domestic agenda in the US. A total of 25% think it is because he has no interest in Europe.

Obama has decided to drop plans to attend an EU-US summit in Madrid in May. What do you think was behind this decision?

  • US domestic issues
  • He is not interested in Europe
  • Spain´s image

Graph 8. Why did Obama decide not to attend an EU-US summit?

  • In general most of those polled (68%) feel that relations between Europe and the US are better now than when Bush was in power.

In your opinion, how are relations between Europe and the US since Barack Obama took power.

  • They have improved
  • They are the same as when Bush was President
  • They have worsened

Graph 9. Are US-EU relations better or worse?


  • A total of 34% believe the Spanish Presidency of the EU is going well, compared with 23% that view it negatively.

Spain now holds the EU’s rotating Presidency. How do you think the Spanish Presidency is going?

  • Very well
  • Well
  • Badly
  • Very badly

Graph 10. How is the Spanish EU Presidency going?

  • Although the Presidency is considered to have positive effects for Spain and the EU, one of every two Spaniards (49%) say they are not very interested in it.

How interested would you say you are in the Presidency?

  • Very much so
  • Quite
  • Not very interested
  • Not at all

Graph 11. How interested are you in the EU Presidency?

  • Only one of every five people polled say they are more interested in the Spanish Presidency than in earlier ones held by other countries.

In comparison to other Presidencies, is your interest greater, lesser…?

Graph 12. Compared to other Presidencies, is your interest…?

  • A majority of 65% feel it is appropriate that the EU has forced Greece to adopt austerity measures.

The EU recently obliged Greece to take austerity measures to address its economic problems. How do you view this decision?

  • Very good
  • OK
  • Bad
  • Very bad

Graph 13. How do you view the decision to impose austerity measures on Greece?

  • However, continuing with the EU economy, 57% think the Euro has been an impediment to battling the crisis.

Let’s now talk about the international economic crisis. How do you think the Euro performed in addressing the crisis?

  • It helped
  • It hurt

Graph 14. Did the Euro help?

  • One of every two Spaniards (48%) feel the single European currency has been bad for Spain, probably because public opinion still associates it with higher prices.

Please tell me to what extent you agree with the following statements

  • The introduction of the Euro has been good for Spain.
  • Countries that do not meet EU criteria should be expelled from the Euro Zone.
  • European countries should come to the aid of fellow EU members if they have problems.

Graph 15. Agreement or disagreement with several statements on the EU and the Euro, percentages of ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ responses

  • Social class influenced people’s opinion on the Euro: the percentage of positive ratings goes from 37% among the lower and lower-middle classes to 55% among the upper and upper-middle classes.

Graph 16. Assessment of the euro and social class: % of positive rating


  • A total of 55% feel that overseas the image of the Spanish economy is bad. A total of 46% believe that the image of Spanish policy is also bad. However, 56% think that the overall image of Spain abroad is good. The percentage goes up to more than 70% when people are asked about Spanish culture (73%) or Spanish society (71%).

What do you think of the image of…

  • Spain in general overseas…
  • The Spanish economy overseas…
  • Spanish culture overseas…
  • Spanish policy overseas…
  • Spanish society overseas…

Graph 17. Opinion on the overseas image of Spain in different areas: percentages of ‘good’ and ‘very good’ responses

  • The crisis is still the problem that worries Spaniards the most. A total of 64% are concerned, compared with just 17% who cite international terrorism as the problem that worries them most.

Of the following four problems, which one would you say worries you the most right now?

  • International terrorism
  • The international financial crisis
  • Iran’s nuclear programme
  • The situation in Afghanistan

Graph 18. Which is most worrying?

  • As a way to overcome the international financial crisis, 40% would support a tax on international financial transactions or the creation of a single world currency. A total of 70% back the idea of strengthening the role of international financial organisations.

I am now going to read you a series of measures that have been proposed in the current world economic situation. Tell me what you think of each of them…

  • A tax on international financial transactions
  • Creating a single world currency (like the Euro, but for the entire world)
  • Nationalising banks
  • Cutting government spending
  • Strengthening the role of international organisations

Graph 19. Agreement or disagreement with several statements on the financial crisis in Spain: % of ‘agree’ and ‘very much agree’ responses


  • A total of 60% feel the international aid that Haiti is receiving is adequate, a percentage that goes up to 73% in the case of assistance from Spain.

With regard to Haiti, what do you think of the international assistance it is receiving?

  • Sufficient/good
  • Insufficient/poor

Graph 20. Is international assistance to Haiti…?

  • Two out of every three Spaniards feel that the work done by well-known public figures to defend humanitarian causes or human rights is important.

How would you describe the role of public figures in achieving the goals of these humanitarian causes and working to defend human rights?

  • Very important
  • Quite important
  • Not very important
  • Not important at all

Graph 21. Is the role of public figures…?

  • Nelson Mandela or Kofi Annan are the highest rated, and joining them in that group is Spain’s Queen Sofia.

I am going to read you a list of public figures known for their defence of humanitarian causes or human rights at the international level. Please assign them a score of 0 to 10 for the degree of commitment you think they have to these causes.

Graph 22. Figures’ average rating on a scale of 0 to 10


  • Spaniards are worried about the threat of climate change, raised to the level of other issues. A total of 90% consider it an important threat and half of these people feel it is a very important threat.

Graph 23. Perception of threats: % of ‘very important threat’ responses

  • The vast majority think global warming is taking place and humanity is responsible, so the percentage of Spanish ‘deniers’ is minimal, although one of every two thinks international organisations may have been too alarmist.

Graph 24. Agreement or disagreement with various statements on climate change:  percentages of ‘in agreement’ and ‘very much in agreement’ responses

  • Against this backdrop, it should come as no surprise that one out of every two Spaniards is disappointed by the results of the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

How do you assess the results of the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen?

  • Very good
  • Good
  • Bad
  • Very bad

Graph 25. Have the results of the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen been…?