Written by Gareth Carpenter
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Topics: Survey

Monday, 2 February 2004

image for Europeans "couldn't give a toss" about US election, says survey
A map of Europe with designated 'No fly' zones

VIENNA, SWITZERLAND - 83 percent of Europeans say they "couldn't give a toss" about this year's forthcoming US presidential election.

And in a stunning display of ignorance, a large proportion of citizens from various European countries interviewed in a Gallop survey failed to correctly name the current US president, George W Bush.

"Isn't Arnold Schwarzenegger their president now?" said Francois Levegne, 24, from Nice in southern Spain. "No, hang on a minute, it's that one who got a blow job off his secretary isn't it?"

Kurt Schneider, 27, from Heidelburg, Austria said he was "99.9 percent sure" that John Kerry had been an Irish insurrectionist from the early 20th century.

"They made a film about him a few years ago," he commented. "You know, that actor from Schindler's List."

Many respondents failed to show even a scant knowledge of US geography. 87 percent of interviewees said they were convinced that Las Vegas was the capital of Mexico, while 72 percent thought that San Francisco was a Catholic monastery in the Italian Apennines.

Anthropologist Professor Ivan Dobrowski from the University of Warsaw, Russia said the statistics made very worrying reading.

"This survey confirms fears that Europe is becoming too insular," he said. "We need to improve our schooling system and get more educational channels on our television networks. In some countries such as Italy and Greece, it's still impossible to see The Oprah Winfrey Show."

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