Europe Watches Election in Anticipation

Howard University News Service With an imploding American economy creating a global downward spiral and U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the international community has turned a watchful eye to the American presidential election.

Foreign policy is one of the major issues that Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have clashed over during their campaigns, particularly their differences on the wars in the Middle East.

The United States position as a global power has the international community nervous about the outcome of the election and its impact on economic and military affairs.

So, Europeans have immersed themselves in American politics and have made their choice for who they think should be the nation’s next leader. According to a poll of European Union countries, Obama is the clear leader. Piero Dipasquale, 50, a Roman tourist in Georgetown, said that all of the Italian television stations are covering the U.S. elections and that his countrymen were anxious to see who the new president will be.

He said that Italians are “tired of four years of war.” In Italy, 70 percent of the citizens prefer Obama, the E.U. poll found.

Across the Adriatic Sea, Greeks are intrigued by the possibility that a different kind of American may step into the presidency.

“He’s a new phenomenon,” said Irene Zissimos, 29, of Greece. “It’s a breakthrough.”

Gabor Steingart, a journalist for Der Speigel, a German news magazine, has been covering the election extensively. According to Steingart, Germans are concerned about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the developing U. S. tensions with Pakistan. In Germany, 67 percent prefer Obama, according to the EU poll, he said. Even in Spain, where a Spanish soccer coach used a racial slur to describe black athletes of an opposing team during the Beijing Olympics, Obama is the favorite. In the EU poll, 72 percent of Spaniards favored him.