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Friday, June 17, 2005

Poll: Only 35 Percent of Americans Like the French

Poll Shows Slump in Trust Between French, Americans

PARIS - Trust between the French and Americans has slumped to its lowest level in 17 years, more than two years after a bitter feud over the Iraq war, an opinion poll showed on Friday.

The TNS-Sofres survey of 1,000 people in each country showed only 31 percent of French people have any "sympathy" for Americans, down from 39 percent in 2002.

Only 35 percent of Americans like the French, a drop from 50 percent in 2002, according to the poll, published in the Le Monde newspaper.

French President Jacques Chirac infuriated Washington and helped create anti-French feeling by his opposition to the Iraq war and his advocacy of a world in which the European Union would counterbalance U.S. power.

Americans retaliated by renaming French fries "freedom fries" and some even stopped buying French wine.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited France in February to help repair ties. She was greeted warmly and her visit was deemed successful.

The survey showed an overwhelming 70 percent of French people believe the United States is not a loyal ally. Fifty-six percent of Americans said France was not a reliable partner.

French people with left-wing views are most likely to be hostile to Americans, the survey found. Left-wing French voters drove France's rejection last month of the EU constitution. Many who voted 'No' said they feared the charter would impose U.S.-style free-market economics on Europe.

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