Eurosceptic 10-year-olds pity the poor Germans

14th June 1996 at 01:00
If 10-year-olds could vote, Sir James Goldsmith would be Britain's next prime minister. At least that is the conclusion to be drawn from a survey of 800 British schoolchildren which reveals a profound mistrust and ignorance of all things European.

Almost 80 per cent of 10- to 16-year-olds believe Europe should never become one nation. While two-thirds support a single currency, 60 per cent of them think it should be sterling.

Despite the fact that two-thirds have visited at least one European country, their attitudes are based on the most simplistic of national images. England is associated with the Queen, France with frogs legs, Italy with pizza, Bosnia with war. And so on.

Europe, it seems, is only good for beaches and sunshine. Certainly not, in the view of almost half the sample, for its food or people. Who said travel broadened the mind? Eight out of ten children associate Germany with the Second World War. Others thought of Germans as boring and - bizarrely - poor.

The survey was carried out by office machinery firm Gestetner as part of its Faxes for Kids scheme to encourage companies to replace fax machines with new models and donate the old ones to schools.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today