The long-discussed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union was formally endorsed by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address to Congress.
The economic euphoria in India over the last few years has suddenly soured. Although still relatively upbeat compared with many other countries, the Indian public’s confidence in their country’s direction and future economic growth has declined significantly compared with just a year ago.
The economic mood is exceedingly glum all around the world. A median of just 27 percent think their national economy is doing well, according to a survey in 21 countries. Those in emerging markets are more upbeat than those in the European Union and the U.S. The global economic crisis also has eroded support for capitalism.
Two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. Enthusiasm for democracy and capitalism has waned considerably and most believe the changes that have taken place have had a negative impact on many aspects of public life.
Despite broad dissatisfaction with their country's current economy and direction, Czechs' enthusiasm for free markets and open elections has remained strong.
A Pew Global Attitudes survey finds that members of the post-communist generation, who are now between the ages of 18 and 39, offer much more positive evaluations of the political and economic changes their countries have undergone over the past two decades than do those who were adults when the Iron Curtain fell.
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, publics of former Iron Curtain countries generally look back approvingly at the collapse of communism. However, enthusiasm about these changes has dimmed in most of the countries surveyed, and many say that most people were better off under communism.
The economic crisis could have troubling implications for public opinion in the former Eastern Bloc, where support for capitalism had been on the rise, but still remained weaker than in Western Europe and most other regions of the world.
The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America. But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago.