31st edition of the BRIE (November 2012)

31st edition of the BRIE (November 2012)

Press Summary

Technical data

Universe: general Spanish population, aged 18 and over (including Ceuta and Melilla).
Sample size: N = 1,200 interviewees.
Sample size: stratified, directly proportionate to the distribution of the national population, with proportionate quotas to the national population –except for Catalonia– according to age and gender. The sample specific to Catalonia is proportionate according to age and gender for 400 interviews.
Stratification by gender and age

Over 65105141246
Rest of Spain8001.2618

Sample error: ±2.9 for global data (1,200 n); ±4.1 for subsamples (600 n), p = q = 0.5, with a confidence interval of 95.5. ±5.0% for the Catalan sample.
Interview methodology: telephone (interviewee called at home).
Survey period: from 6 to 19 November 2012.
Average duration of interview: 18 minutes.
Field work: GAD3 (formerly Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico).

1. Spain Brand Ambassadors

  • Spaniards have a highly positive opinion of the launch of the Spain Brand initiative, aimed to improve Spain’s image abroad: 71% consider it a good idea.

The government has launched an initiative known as the Spain Brand in order to improve the country’s image abroad. What’s your opinion?

Graph 1.

Very good10.5
Neither good nor bad13.2
Very bad2.3
  • This BRIE also asked interviewees to give a score from 0 to 10 to a list of personalities, institutions and icons that might project a better image of Spain abroad.
  • Starting with the political sphere, the best-regarded personalities are the members of the Royal Family, followed by the former Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González and the judge Baltasar Garzón. The worst valued are currently active politicians, both government and opposition.

I shall read you a list of Spanish personalities and institutions. Please assign them a score from 0 to 10 according to their capacity for projecting a favourable image of Spain abroad.

Graph 2.

Queen Sofía7.0
Prince Felipe6.8
King Juan Carlos I6.5
Felipe González5.5
Baltasar Garzón5.5
Javier Solana5.2
Jose María Aznar4.5
Mariano Rajoy4.2
Josep Antoni Durán i Lleida4.2
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba4.1
  • In the business world the entrepreneur Amancio Ortega is considerably ahead of the rest, while it is striking that business leaders as a whole are given better scores than the average for politicians.

Graph 3.

Amancio Ortega7.5
Florentino Pérez6.3
Antonio Garrigues5.8
Koplowitz sisters5.8
Joan Rosell5.5
  • In terms of commercial brands, Zara is clearly in the lead, followed by Repsol, SEAT and Iberdrola.

Graph 4.

Editorial Planeta6.5
  • The average for the cultural sphere is higher than for the previous categories. Even so, Montserrat Caballé and Plácido Domingo are well ahead, followed by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Graph 5.

Montserrat Caballé8.2
Plácido Domingo8.2
Mario Vargas Llosa7.6
Antonio Banderas7.5
Ferrán Adriá7.4
Alejandro Sanz7.3
Pedro Almodóvar6.9
Penélope Cruz6.8
Miquel Barceló6.6
Isabel Coixet6.4
  • Spaniards give the highest scores to their sportsmen and women, with the national football side and Rafa Nadal in the lead.

Graph 6.

Spanish national football team9
Rafa Nadal8.9
Pau Gasol8.6
Olympic synchronised swimming team8.4
Fernando Alonso8.3
Real Madrid7.9
F.C. Barcelona7.9
Alberto Contador7.9
  • As for journalists and opinion-makers, the favourites are the broadcaster Lorenzo Milá, the thinker Eduardo Punset and the cartoonist Forges. Conversely, the political commentator Pilar Rahola and the newspaper editor Pedro J. Ramírez are just above the pass mark.

Graph 7.

Lorenzo Mila7.0
Eduardo Punset6.9
Pepa Bueno6.4
Angels Barceló6.2
Fernando Savater6.2
Carlos Herrera6.2
Ernesto Sáenz de Buruaga5.8
Pilar Rahola5.4
Pedro J. Ramírez5.2
  • As regards institutions, NGOs get the highest score, at 6.6, while only cultural foundations and the security and armed forces are above the pass mark. All other political and social institutions fail, to such an extent that both Parliament and government get only half the score of the NGOs.

Graph 8.

Cultural foundations5.9
State security forces5.8
Armed forces5.8
Judges and the judiciary4.8
Autonomous Communities4.5

Graph 9.

Don Quixote8.2
St James’s Way to Santiago de Compostela8.0
Gaudí’s Cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona7.9
The Cid7.3
The Seville April Fair or Feria de Abril7.1
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella the Catholic6.9
The festival of San Fermín in Pamplona6.9
The Osborne bull6.7
Joan Miró’s sun6.6

Graph 10.

Santiago de Compostela7.4
Canary Islands7.3
Balearic Islands7.1

Graph 11.

Prado Museum8.1
Cervantes Institute7.5
Guggenheim Museum7.5
Thyssen Museum7.4
Dalí Museum7.3
Reina Sofía Museum7.1
City of the Arts and Sciences of Valencia7.1
City of Culture of Santiago de Compostela6.9
Fundación Carolina6.3

Graph 12.

A comparison between the overall Spanish results and the specifically Catalan sample shows that the similarities are far greater than the differences. When valuing the Spain Brand’s almost 100 icons, the Catalan choices are largely similar to those of all other Spaniards: there are only significant differences, of over 0.5, in one of every three items. It should be borne in mind that among the list a few specifically Catalan elements were introduced as a control, in general non-Catalan icons were valued equally well in Catalonia.

In the cases where there are differences, which account for around 30% of the total, they are mostly attributable to the Catalans giving them a lower score than the rest of Spaniards. The most heavily penalised icons in Catalonia, with a difference of one point or more, are the football team Real Madrid, the Osborne bull advertisement, the newspaper editor Pedro J. Ramírez, the Royal Family, the Conservative politicians Aznar and Rajoy, and the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. In any case, it should be highlighted that among the 100 icons there was a smaller number of specifically Catalan ones, making it more likely for the category of ‘Spanish non-Catalan icons’ to have been penalised in Catalonia.

As a result, it should be highlighted that in another significant number of cases, 10 out of 30, the discrepancy is because the Catalans in all cases gave a higher score to specifically Catalan icons. For instance, Barcelona and Freixenet received a point and a half more in Catalonia than they did in the rest of Spain.

Graph 13. Valuation Differences between Catalonia and the rest of Spain

2. The Paradox of the Catalans’ Pro-European and Pro-independence Stance

¿Are you in favour or against Catalan independence?

Graph 14.

In favour42.7

BASE: Catalan sub-sample of 400 interviews.

If Catalonia becomes independent, should the EU recognise it as an independent state?

Graph 15.


BASE: Catalan sub-sample of 400 interviews.

And do you think the EU should admit an independent Catalonia as a member state?

Graph 16.


BASE: Catalan sub-sample of 400 interviews.

3. Pessimism about Leaving the Crisis Behind

Which way do you think the crisis is going?

Graph 17.

ImprovingThe sameDeterioratingDK/NA

Do you think the first banking sector bail-out will end the crisis?

Graph 18.


Graph 19


Do you have the feeling that the EU is making progress against the crisis or is it at an impasse?

Graph 20

ProgressingAt an impasseDK/NA

4. Obama gets a Pass but Merkel Fails

What opinion do you have of the US election results?

Graph 21

Very goodGoodNeither good nor badBadVery badDK/NA

The US President is the best-valued international leader in Spain.

Please give a score from 0 (very bad) to 10 (very good) to each of the following personalities.

Graph 22

Barack Obama6.8
François Hollande5.8
David Cameron5.4
Christine Lagarde5.1
Mario Monti5.0
José Manuel Durão Barroso5.0
Angela Merkel4.8
Herman Van Rompuy4.8
Vladimir Putin3.8
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner3.5

Graph 23

It should also be highlighted that Germany is no longer the best rated country in Spain and its score has dropped to the level of Greece.

Assigning a score from 0 (very negative) to 10 (very positive), what are your feelings towards the following?

Graph 24


5. Intervention in Syria

Do you think the international community should intervene in Syria to depose the current regime and foster a transition to democracy?

Graph 25


Should Spain take part in an international mission to Syria?

Graph 26


6. Positive Valuation of the Withdrawal of Troops from Afghanistan

Graph 27

Very goodGoodNeither good nor badBadVery badDK/DA

Graph 28

    • Spaniards believe that the most appropriate icons to project a good image of Spain abroad are Don Quixote, the pilgrimage along St James’s Way and the architect Gaudí’s cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona. Nevertheless, traditional iconography still gets high scores, including Carmen, Joan Miró’s sun and the Osborne bull.
    • As to cities and geographical locations, the three winners are Madrid, Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela.
    • The clear winner among cultural institutions is the Prado Museum, half a point ahead of the Cervantes Institute and, once again, museums such as the Guggenheim and the Thyssen.
    • The top 10 ambassadors for the Spain Brand are, according to the scores awarded by those interviewed, the national football team, the two opera singers Plácido Domingo and Montserrat Caballé, and the literary character Don Quixote.
    • According to the BRIE 31’s results, based on an analysis of the responses in the Catalan sample, the Citizens of Catalonia are evenly divided as regards independence for the region, with 43% for and another 43% against. To these should be added the 15% who are still undecided.
    • In any case, a majority of Catalans (62%) believe that in the event of independence, the EU should recognise Catalonia as an independent state, while a similar proportion (58%) think the EU should also admit it as a member state. Therefore, the pro-independence stance is also pro-European.
    • Most Spaniards believe the economic situation has deteriorated further, followed at a certain distance by those who think it remains the same. Only a small minority consider that it has improved.
    • The vast majority think the first Spanish banking sector bail-out is insufficient to put an end to the crisis. Those who believe it will are such a small minority that they account for even less than those who don’t know what to answer.
    • Although not so firmly, most Spaniards (64%) are opposed to requesting a second bail-out.
    • As regards whether the EU is making any headway against the crisis, Spaniards are perfectly clear that it is at an impasse. Not only is it the opinion of the majority, but almost all have a clear opinion on the matter.
    • Spaniards are highly positive about Barack Obama’s re-election.
    • It should be highlighted that after having been for a long time one of the best valued international leaders, Spaniards now give Angela Merkel a fail.
    • Spaniards are now divided about military intervention in Syria, while a few months ago a majority were in favour.
    • What has not changed is the opposition to Spain’s participation in an international mission.
    • Spaniards are in favour of withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan. Only 12% consider it a bad idea, while 60% think it is good to withdraw them.
    • The Afghanistan mission is one of the most unpopular involving the Spanish armed forces.