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Czechs most like Obama, Sarkozy's popularity plummets-poll

April 20, 2009

Czeske Noviny (Czech Republic)
April 19, 2009

Prague - U.S. President Barack Obama is the most
popular foreign politician among Czechs while the
popularity of French President Nicholas Sazkozy
has plummeted, according to an April poll the STEM agency has released to CTK.

The poll showed that 85 percent of respondents
assessed Obama positively. Obama was named the
most popular foreign politician also in the
December poll of the same agency and since then
his popularity has slightly increased.

Supporters of both right-wing and left-wing
parties said they like Obama most of all foreign heads of state and government.

The Tibetan Dalai Lama was the second most
popular foreign state representative for 69 percent of Czechs.

He is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
(65 percent), the same assessment as in the December poll.

On the other hand, the popularity of Sarkozy has
plummeted. While in December, 55 percent of
respondents assessed him positively, it was only 38 percent in April.

Russian representatives are still assessed by
Czechs as the least popular politicians. Only 36
percent of respondents assessed positively
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and only 33
percent assessed positively Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Roughly half of respondents assessed positively
European Commission President Jose Barroso whose
popularity has grown by 16 percent since last April.

Pope Benedict XVI, Slovak Prime Minister Robert
Fico and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also
received positive assessment from half of respondents.

The poll showed that the views on foreign
statesmen differ in connection with the
respondents' political leaning. It is most
evident in the case of representatives of Russia
and Slovak who were more positively assessed by
the supporters of left-wing parties, the Social
Democrats (CSSD) and especially the communists (KSCM).

These respondents gave a worse assessment to west
European and U.S. politicians as well as
representatives of the EU, the Pope and the Dalai Lama.

Obama is the only exception as supporters of all
Czech parties in parliament, including the KSCM, perceive him very positively.
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