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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Quiz reveals Europe's knowledge gap
graphic
Poles have come out top of a test of Europe's general knowledge - streaking ahead of the Danes and Italians, despite not yet being members of the European Union.

Britain and Portugal do worst - only getting around half of the 20 questions on the EU, European history, geography and culture correct.

People from 19 European countries were questioned in the survey, carried out by Reader's Digest to gauge the level of common European knowledge.

Top of the class
Poland
Denmark
Italy
Could do better
Portugal
UK
Slovakia

But some basics about the European Union stumped many of the 3,800 people questioned.

Overall, only 52% knew that Romano Prodi was President of the European Commission.

However, people from the countries lining up to join the EU in the next few years did much better on that question than people from countries which are already EU members.

Bob Low, Reader's Digest European Bureau Chief, said it was no surprise the Poles, who got three-quarters of the questions right on average, had done so well.


This all but confirms what people have often said: Britons are less than enthusiastic Europeans

Reader's Digest Editor-in-Chief Katherine Walker
"I think the Poles are very interested in the EU because they want to join in 2004, and I think for a long time they've looked to Europe as a bastion of freedom and liberty," he said.

UK respondents had their worst showing on EU-related questions .

Their best rating was for the question, "Who first formulated the theory of gravity?" which 97% of people knew was their fellow countryman Sir Isaac Newton.

"This all but confirms what people have often said: Britons are less than enthusiastic Europeans," said Reader's Digest Editor-in-Chief Katherine Walker.


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