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Nearly three-quarters of Bulgarians don't approve of their government's economic policy, a newly published global opinion poll shows.
The Transatlantic Trends poll found that 72 percent of Bulgarians do not approve of the economic policy pursued by the government of the ruling center-right GERB party and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The global poll was conducted for the 11th time by TNS for the German Marshall Fund between June 2 and June 27 this year, and covered 15 countries in North America and Europe.
The disapproval rate of the government's economic policy in Bulgaria is second only to that in Romania (76 percent).
As in the 2011 Transatlantic Trends poll, 89 percent of the Bulgarians polled indicated that they have been affected by the global economic crisis.
The survey also found that 88 percent of Bulgarian respondents view the European Union favorably but 47 percent are pessimistic as to whether EU membership has a positive effect on the Bulgarian economy.
Of all the countries covered in the survey, Bulgaria has the most positive attitude towards Germany (88 percent), and the second most positive (66 percent) towards the way German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been dealing with the euro zone crisis.
While 63 percent of respondents said they approved of the way the EU has been dealing with the economic crisis, 45 percent believe the adoption of the euro by Bulgaria would be a bad thing.
Bulgaria's leaders recently indicated that they had temporarily shelved plans to join the common European currency.
The Transatlantic Trends survey found that while Bulgaria still has the most positive view of Russia among all 15 states, with 78 percent of the respondents saying they view the country favorably, the figure declined from 88 percent in 2011. Slovakia is the second most positive towards Russia, as indicated by 64 percent of the respondents there.
US President Barack Obama, who faces elections in November this year, has seen the approval of his international policies in Bulgaria drop from 72 percent last year to 51 percent in 2012, compared with 55 percent in Slovakia, 49 percent in Poland, 42 percent in Turkey, and 26 percent in Russia; Obama's approval in Western Europe is in the 67-81 percent range.
At the same time, however, 40 percent of Bulgarian respondents said they would vote for Obama if they could, which is the lowest level of support for the incumbent US president in all 15 states save for Poland (35 percent). Obama enjoys an average support rate of 75 percent in the 12 EU member states polled, with France and Germany indicating a support rate of 89 percent and 87 percent, respectively.
Among the EU countries polled in the Transatlantic Trends survey, Bulgarians view Israel most favorably (47 percent).
Sweden (56 percent) and Bulgaria (55 percent) are the two nations from among the 12 EU states surveyed where the majority of the citizens approve of the US-led international intervention in Iraq; Swedes (62 percent) and Bulgarians (56 percent) are also found to approve of the international intervention in Afghanistan.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.