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Swiss see US a sweet land of waste, fast food and problems

McDonalds suffers from a negative image in Switzerland

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss have mixed feelings about the United States: most believe Americans are incredibly wasteful and incapable of sorting out their own problems, yet do not mind that the US dominates global politics and culture.

Swiss views about America are revealed in a survey of over 1,000 people whose opinions were canvassed by the research institute, GfS.

Some 84 per cent said Americans were incapable of getting to the bottom of their problems, and a similar number feel that the US is the supreme example of a land of waste.

Despite the negative opinions, most Swiss were found to be unconcerned by the Americanisation of their languages, with only just over a third expressing concern about the import of American phrases into French and German.

The Swiss are more or less evenly divided on the question of whether it is desirable that America should dominate global politics, with 45 per cent in favour and 43 per cent against.

Less surprising is the popularity of American imports - 88 per cent of Swiss enjoy watching Hollywood blockbusters at the cinema, for instance - but there is some degree of ambivalence towards America's greatest culinary export, fast food.

Some 55 per cent of Swiss have a "fairly bad" opinion of fast food in general, while the global giant McDonalds is singled out as being "very bad".

Despite Swiss aversion to the imported burger, the McDonalds Corporation has decided to make Switzerland a testing ground for its first two McDonalds hotels. The Golden Arch Hotels will open this month at Zurich airport and in Estavayer-le-Lac.

swissinfo with agencies


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