20:15 GMT +321 July 2019
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    President Donald Trump with German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 27, 2018

    Just 4 Percent of Finns Believe Trump Made World Safer Place

    © AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta
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    Finnish voters from across the political spectrum have shown a rare unanimity by arguing that US President Donald Trump has polarized the international discussion and increased aggressive commenting on social media - a notion supported by 88 percent of Finns.

    Only 4 percent of the Finnish people believe that Trump has made the world a safer place, a survey by pollster Taloustutkimus commissioned by national broadcaster Yle indicates.

    Taloustutkimus asked Finns how Trump had impacted a range of issues from global security to environmental protection.

    Fourteen percent of the population claimed that Trump had strengthened the US position on the globe. The positive image of the US president was mostly supported by voters of the right-wing Finns Party or respondents with only a primary education or annual household income of less than 10,000 euros ($11,750).

    Those with only a primary education or with an annual household income of 10,000 euros or less were most likely to argue that Trump had improved global security.

    By contrast, a large majority of Finns — 88 percent — argued that Trump had polarized discussions on social issues and increased aggressive commenting on social media. This notion was most widely supported by Green Party voters.

    READ MORE: EU 'Not Strong Enough' in International Politics — Finnish President

    About 70 percent of the respondents argued that the US president had weakened the global commitment to protecting the environment, a notion most widely supported by university graduates or people with an annual household income of 70,000 euros ($82,200) or more.

    Lastly, 5 percent of the respondents said Trump had no impact whatsoever on any of these issues. Support for this statement was highest among retirees, executives and residents in municipalities with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants.

    Researcher Ville Sinkkonen of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs ascribed the results of the poll to Trump's policy against international cooperation. Sinkkonen stressed that during Trump's tenure, the US has withdrawn from the Paris climate treaty and the Iran nuclear deal, while also introducing tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Sinkkonen emphasized that Finns share the idea that Finland is a small country dependent on exports.

    Sinkkonen attributed the relatively more positive view of Trump among Finns and Christian Democrats voters to the US president's policies on immigration and the Middle East.

    At the same time Sinkkonen pointed out that the results of the poll largely coincided with those conducted in other countries.

    "During his term, Trump has been unpopular in Western Europe and globally too," Sinkkonen argued.

    READ MORE: Swedes Hate Trump More Than Any Other Leader

    Earlier this year, a survey by the Pew Research Center showed a 30 percent approval rate for the Trump administration based on polls in 134 countries. By contrast, the Obama administration had a 48 percent rating in its second year in office. Russia and Israel are the only countries where Trump is more popular than his predecessor.

    On July 16, Donald Trump will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during a summit in Helsinki, Finland.


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