Eu denies supressing israel poll finding
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EU denies suppressing Israel poll finding
30 October 2003
The European Commission denied Thursday having intervened to exclude a potentially damaging poll finding about Israel from a survey on Europeans' views published this week.
The EU executive said that the finding, which reportedly says that Europeans believe Israel poses the biggest threat to world peace, will be published next Monday along with the full results from the survey.
"There was no political decision," said commission spokesman Gerassimos Thomas, asked about the report in the Spanish daily El Pais which cited findings that 59 percent of Europeans rate Israel as the most threatening country, ahead of the United States, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.
He said "this was a technical decision" aimed at providing topical data -- in the context of last week's Iraq donor conference in Madrid -- before releasing full results once they had been fully analysed and compiled.
The Brussels commission on Monday published a survey entitled "Iraq and peace in the world," an initial "Eurobarometer" poll on findings from interviews in the EU's member states.
The survey was based on replies to 10 out of 15 questions put to 500 citizens in mid-October in each EU member state. But it omitted results from five of the questions, the spokesman said.
"In view of the Madrid conference we decided to try to supply some preliminary results regarding Madrid as soon as possible," he said.
"We didn't have time to assess all the replies for last Monday, so we decided we would have to select 10 questions from the survey," he added.
The commission declined to comment on the reported poll findings on Israel.
"Even the drafts that we have... are not finalised at this moment. There are still some calculations that have to be done," Thomas said.
He added: "Once we've got those final results we will make whatever comments there are to be made."
According to the El Pais report, questions have also been raised about the reliability of the questioning concerning countries that threaten world peace. For example India was included in the proposed list, but not Pakistan.
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