French outpace Americans in French-bashing: poll

PARIS Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:33am EDT

A view of the Eiffel Tower in a file photo. The French dislike themselves even more than the Americans dislike them, according to an opinion poll published on Friday. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

A view of the Eiffel Tower in a file photo. The French dislike themselves even more than the Americans dislike them, according to an opinion poll published on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Mal Langsdon

PARIS (Reuters) - The French dislike themselves even more than the Americans dislike them, according to an opinion poll published on Friday.

The survey of six nations, carried out for the International Herald Tribune daily and France 24 TV station, said 44 percent of French people thought badly of themselves against 38 percent of U.S. respondents who had a negative view of the French.

Only 14 percent of Germans, 25 percent of Italians, 29 percent of Spaniards and 33 percent of Britons had a negative view of the French, according to the Harris/Novatris poll, which questioned more than 1,000 people in each country.

Looked at from another perspective, the Germans have the highest regard for their neighbors, with 73 percent saying they had a positive view of the French.

By contrast, some 63 percent of Italians had a positive view of the French, 54 percent of Spaniards, 51 percent of French, 41 percent of Britons and just 35 percent of Americans.

Relations between France and the United States plunged following Paris's fierce opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Thursday's poll said 74 percent of Americans said whoever wins the second round of France's presidential election on May 6 should try to improve relations with the United States.

Some 41 percent of French agreed, but 20 percent believed Paris should be even more distant with Washington.