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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Int'l Poll: Support for Withdrawal From Iraq, Enforcement of Saddam's Death Sentence Strong

A Harris Interactive study for France 24 and Le Monde conducted in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States shows that large numbers of adults in each country favor a withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq and support the enforcement of Saddam Hussein's death sentence.

Large majorities across the six countries favor the withdrawal of the troops present in Iraq, either immediately or in the next few months.

* 90% of the French are in favor of such a withdrawal (40% favor an immediate withdrawal)
* 84% of the Spanish (47% favor an immediate withdrawal)
* 83% of the British (29% favour an immediate withdrawal)
* 82% of the Germans (43% favour an immediate withdrawal)

Even though majorities of Italians and Americans would support a withdrawal, it is to a lesser extent: 73% of the Italians and 66% of the Americans.

Americans and Europeans support the enforcement of Saddam Hussein's death sentence Support for the withdraw of coalition troops from Iraq somewhat parallels the desire to see Saddam Hussein's death sentence enforced.

Saddam Hussein was recently sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal for "crimes against humanity" for his responsibility in the murders of 148 inhabitants in the Shia town of Dujail in 1982.

Apart from Italy (46%), majorities of adults in each of the countries support the enforcement of this sentence, particularly adults in the U.S. (82%) and Great Britain (69%). More than half in France (58%) Germany (53%) and Spain (51%) supportthe enforcement of that sentence.

There is a near-consensus on which three events were the most significant events of 2006. Judged the most significant are:

* The Israel/Hezbollah war in Lebanon
* The first nuclear test in North Korea
* The defeat of George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the November U.S. congressional elections

Although 38% of the Americans have a positive opinion of their president, majorities in the other countries surveyed have a negative opinion about him. Only one in five (21%) of the Italians have a positive opinion of Bush while the British (10%), the French (6%), the Germans (8%) and the Spanish (8%) express a positive opinion about the president of the U.S.

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