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THE PULSE OF EUROPE : What Europeans Think . . .

These comparisons of European social and political attitudes are based on interviews with 13,000 people across the Continent in a series of one-hour, face-to-face conversations conducted between the third week of April and the end of June, 1991. Survey teams commissioned by the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press fanned out in nine countries and three Soviet republics (Lithuania had not achieved independence at the time).

The comparisons on these two pages do not include material from a subsequent telephone poll in Moscow and Leningrad conducted earlier this month following the Soviet coup and countercoup.

Comparisons with the United States are based on similar surveys of the American electorate conducted from 1986 through 1990.

ABOUT THEIR MOOD

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STATE OF THE INDIVIDUAL

How, on a scale of one to 10, do people assess their own situation five years ago? Today? And how they see five years from now?

5 years ago Now 5 years in the future Britain 5.9 6.1 7.1 France 5.8 5.9 6.6 Spain 5.6 5.8 6.5 Italy 5.7 6.1 6.8 Germany (total) 5.7 6.2 7.0 Germany (West) 5.9 6.6 7.2 Germany (East) 5.2 4.9 6.4 Czechoslovakia 5.6 5.0 5.4 Hungary 5.3 4.2 4.3 Poland 5.0 4.2 4.7 Bulgaria 4.8 3.6 4.5 Russia 4.8 3.7 4.3 Ukraine 5.2 3.7 4.6 Lithuania 4.9 4.6 5.9

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

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More West Europeans ranked their life “high” on the satisfaction scale, while East Europeans rated theirs low. The rest called their lives “average” or offered no opinion. The percentages:

Rate life high Rate life low Britain 25% 18% France 21% 16% Spain 16% 4% Italy 20% 15% Germany (total) 26% 16% Germany (West) 34% 12% Germany (East) 8% 32% Czechoslovakia 10% 38% Hungary 4% 52% Poland 5% 51% Bulgaria 2% 66% Russia 2% 64% Ukraine 3% 67% Lithuania 5% 43%

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT?

Asked whether they would settle in another country if they could, it was the British and French who were most enthusiastic about moving.

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U.S.: N.A.

Britain: 36%

France: 30%

Spain: 8%

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Italy: 24%

Germany (total): 14%

Germany (West): 15%

Germany (East): 14%

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Czechoslovakia: 18%

Hungary: 14%

Poland: 17%

Bulgaria: 19%

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Russia: 25%

Ukraine: 28%

Lithuania: 28%

ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBORS

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TERRITORIAL IMPERATIVE

The percentages of those who believe parts of neighboring countries rightly belong to their homeland shows that territorial disputes remain the rule in Europe. The numbers:

U.S.: N.A.

Britain: 20%

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France: 12%

Spain: 48%

Italy: 29%

Germany (total): 39%

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Germany (West): 43%

Germany (East): 25%

Czechoslovakia: 39%

Hungary: 68%

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Poland: 60%

Bulgaria: 52%

Russia: 22%

Ukraine: 24%

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Lithuania: 46%

DON’T GIVE ME YOUR NEEDY

Majorities almost everywhere believe that there should be tighter restrictions on entry to their country. The percentages:

U.S.: N.A.

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Britain: 79%

France: 86%

Spain: 66%

Italy: 84%

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Germany (total): 70%

Germany (West): 70%

Germany (East): 70%

Czechoslovakia: 65%

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Hungary: 68%

Poland: 58%

Bulgaria: 38%

Russia: 45%

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Ukraine: 31%

Lithuania: 54%

ABOUT THE SEXES

WOMEN’S LIBERATION?

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Which sex enjoys the better life? There was no question in any country surveyed--it’s the men by a mile. The numbers:

MEN WOMEN U.S. N.A. Britain 54% 11% France 44% 10% Spain 35% 14% Italy 33% 19% Germany (total) 44% 9% Germany (West) 40% 10% Germany (East) 59% 5% Czechoslovakia 53% 5% Hungary 41% 8% Poland 48% 6% Bulgaria 42% 15% Russia 64% 6% Ukraine 73% 6% Lithuania 69% 6%

WORKING WIVES

Those in the former Soviet republics and in Eastern Europe most favored “traditional” marriages, in which the wife stays at home; others thought it better if both partners work. Those favoring tradition:

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U.S.: 37%

Britain: 28%

France: 30%

Spain: 30%

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Italy: 34%

Germany (total): 36%

Germany (West): 41%

Germany (East): 18%

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Czechoslovakia: 54%

Hungary: 59%

Poland: 56%

Bulgaria: 40%

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Russia: 48%

Ukraine: 53%

Lithuania: 62%

ABOUT POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

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BANNING POLITICAL PARTIES

Despite their general support for democracy, large minorities throughout Europe--and majorities in some places--would ban some political parties. The percentages:

U.S.: 32%

Britain: 43%

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France: 28%

Spain: 40%

Italy: 55%

Germany (total): 62%

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Germany (West): 60%

Germany (East): 71%

Czechoslovakia: 39%

Hungary: 57%

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Poland: 34%

Bulgaria: 36%

Russia: 54%

Ukraine: 47%

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Lithuania: 40%

BAD GOVERNMENT

Large numbers of people everywhere, it seems, believe government “is usually inefficient and wasteful.” The percentages:

U.S.: 67%

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Britain: 57%

France: 58%

Spain: 44%

Italy: 74%

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German (total): 41%

Germany (West) 45%

Germany (East) 24%

Czechoslovakia: 41%

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Hungary: 63%

Poland: 77%

Bulgaria: 44%

Russia: 63%

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Ukraine: 64%

Lithuania: 51%

POLITICS TRES BORING

Italy and France led the way in the percentage of people who say they are losing interest in politics. The numbers:

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U.S.: N.A.

Britain: 50%

France: 72%

Spain: 55%

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Italy: 73%

Germany (total): 23%

Germany (West): 23%

Germany (East): 23%

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Czechoslovakia: 31%

Hungary: 54%

Poland: 47%

Bulgaria: 47%

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Russia: 53%

Ukraine: 45%

Lithuania: 52%

WAVING THE FLAG

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Solid majorities everywhere say they feel “very patriotic,” although nowhere does that feeling score as high as in the United States. The numbers:

U.S.: 88%

Britain: 72%

France: 64%

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Spain: 70%

Italy: 69%

Germany (total): 72%

Germany (West): 74%

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Germany (East): 69%

Czechoslovakia: 70%

Hungary: 70%

Poland: 75%

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Bulgaria: 75%

Russia: 60%

Ukraine: 62%

Lithuania: 63%

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THE STRONG SURVIVE

Only in Poland, with its history of being overrun by hostile neighbors, does the percentage who believe in “peace through strength” match America’s. The numbers:

U.S.: 52%

Britain: 41%

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France: 43%

Spain: 21%

Italy: 23%

Germany (total): 29%

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Germany (West): 33%

Germany (East): 15%

Czechoslovakia: 20%

Hungary: 34%

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Poland: 58%

Bulgaria: 26%

Russia: 23%

Ukraine: 18%

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Lithuania: 14%

MY COUNTRY RIGHT OR WRONG

Only in the United States, Britain, and Bulgaria are a majority willing to fight for their nation “right or wrong.” The percentages:

U.S.: 55%

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Britain: 56%

France: 37%

Spain: 46%

Italy: 39%

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Germany (total): 28%

Germany (West): 31%

Germany (East): 16%

Czechoslovakia: 28%

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Hungary: 30%

Poland: 47%

Bulgaria: 53%

Russia: 42%

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Ukraine: 36%

Lithuania: 39%

ABOUT ECONOMIC ISSUES

BACK TO PIECEWORK

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East Europeans are more inclined than Westerners to favor a paycheck based on accomplishment rather than a fixed salary. Those favoring incentives:

U.S.: 53%

Britain: 32%

France: 27%

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Spain: 26%

Italy: 45%

Germany (total): 20%

Germany (West): 16%

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Germany (East): 32%

Czechoslovakia: 70%

Hungary: 75%

Poland: 66%

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Bulgaria: 63%

Russia: 66%

Ukraine: 79%

Lithuania: 86%

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ADMIRATION FOR THE RICH

The percentage in each country who feel strongly that the rich deserve what they have:

U.S.: 57%

Britain: 58%

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France: 58%

Spain: 60%

Italy: 61%

Germany (total): 35%

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Germany (West): 34%

Germany (Est): 39%

Czechoslovakia: 55%

Hungary: 40%

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Poland: 53%

Bulgaria: 64%

Russia: N.A.

Ukraine: N.A.

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Lithuania: 77%

PAYING FOR CLEAN AIR

Majorities in all countries said they are willing to pay higher prices to protect the environment. The percentages:

U.S.: 70%

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Britain: 60%

France: 58%

Spain: 63%

Italy: 53%

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German (total): 59%

Germany (West): 58%

Germany (East): 64%

Czechoslovakia: 65%

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Hungary: 58%

Poland: 57%

Bulgaria: 77%

Russia: 59%

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Ukraine: 55%

Lithuania: 58%

CARING FOR THE POOR

Aside from Americans, most everyone feels that the state has a responsibility to take care of poor people who can’t take care of themselves. The percentages:

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U.S.: 23%

Britain: 62%

France: 62%

Spain: 71%

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Italy: 66%

Germany (total): 50%

Germany (West): 45%

Germany (East) 64%

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Czechoslovakia: 66%

Hungary: 58%

Poland: 56%

Bulgaria: 81%

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Russia: 70%

Ukraine: 69%

Lithuania: 68%

ABOUT BASIC VALUES

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IS GOD DEAD?

None of the nations surveyed had a greater percentage of believers than the United States. The percentage of those who say they never doubted the existence of God:

U.S.: 87%

Britain: 58%

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France: 47%

Spain: 72%

Italy: 80%

Germany (total): 52%

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Germany (West): 59%

Germany (East): 27%

Czechoslovakia: 45%

Hungary: 49%

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Poland: 83%

Bulgaria: 50%

Russia: 46%

Ukraine: 53%

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Lithuania: 57%

HOMOSEXUALS IN EDUCATION

Asked whether they would ban homosexual teachers in the classroom, the East Europeans were uniformly more conservative than Westerners. The numbers:

U.S.: 35%

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Britain: 36%

France: 21%

Spain: 33%

Italy: 35%

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Germany (total): 38%

Germany (West): 40%

Germany (East): 26%

Czechoslovakia: 59%

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Hungary: 66%

Poland: 62%

Bulgaria: 59%

Russia: 59%

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Ukraine: 67%

Lithuania: 71%

BOOK BURNING

A majority in nearly every country would ban books with “dangerous ideas” from school libraries. The percentages:

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U.S.: 50%

Britain: 47%

France: 62%

Spain: 51%

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Italy: 56%

German (total): 72%

Germany (West): 69%

Germany (East): 85%

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Czechoslovakia: 53%

Hungary: 71%

Poland: 59%

Bulgaria: 52%

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Russia: 57%

Ukraine: 65%

Lithuania: 57%

OPTING FOR ABORTION

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A majority everywhere--including heavily Catholic Italy, Poland, and Spain--also supports a women’s rights to have an abortion. The percentages:

U.S.: 62%

Britain: 75%

France: 75%

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Spain: 52%

Italy: 53%

Germany (total): 65%

Germany (West): 61%

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Germany (East): 80%

Czechoslovakia: 80%

Hungary: 81%

Poland: 67%

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Bulgaria: 73%

Russia: 81%

Ukraine: 81%

Lithuania: 75%

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