Friday, September 2, 2011

Misleading titles

Even though my knowledge of German is shaky, I could understand this title in Die Welt: "Die Deutschen wollen mehr Europa". The Germans, I read, want more Europa. But not, I noticed, more European Union. My reading of the title and my stuttering through the article was confirmed by Open Europe and its team of translators:
According to a series of Deutschlandtrend polls conducted by ARD, only 35% of Germans accept “limited” versions of Eurobonds, with 55% opposing them. 66% do not support stronger eurozone countries providing credit guarantees for weaker ones, while 80% believe that “the worst of the euro– anddebt – crisis is yet to come.” 64% support “more common policy making in Europe over the next few years” (mehr gemeinsame Politik in Europa). However, the question does not mention the EU and does not ask whether respondents agree that powers should be transferred to the EU institutions. Answering a separate question, 53% of respondents said they were opposed to the idea of “United States of Europe”, with only 42% in favour.
Then Open Europe makes something of a boo-boo of its own. They quote from the Finnish business magazine Talouselämä (goodness, do they have Finnish translators in Open Europe?) and say in the heading: "47% of Finns think euro has done more harm than good, down from 71% a year ago". What?

Ahem, no. As you were. The translated and summarized text says:
Meanwhile, a poll conducted last week by Taloustutkimus Oy for Finnish business magazine Talouselämä shows that 49% of Finns are opposed to Finnish participation in EU emergency aid to Greece, while only 34% support the EU bailout. The same poll showed that 47% of Finns think the euro has done more good than harm, down from 71% in a Eurobarometer poll a year ago.
Exactly, the opposite to what the title says. Here are the figures on the opposition to the bail-out on Reuters. And here is the full story in English on YLE. Maybe there are no Finnish translators in Open Europe, after all. That might explain the perplexing heading.

Finland, meanwhile, refuses to budge on the question of the collateral agreement with Greece and the Prime Minister has been threatened with a meeting with Council President Van Rompuy on Monday morning. There's a threat to bring terror into any politician's heart.


  1. '64% support “more common policy making in Europe over the next few years” '

    I'm not surprised, since "common policy making" always seems to involve other countries adopting the German way.

  2. I wouldn't say that, exactly, Anne. In fact, I wouldn't say that at all.