There are many stereotypes surrounding individual nations. X’s stereotype for Y may be different to Z’s. The stereotypes may have kernels of truth to them, but they are not wholly correct, and so are heavily misleading. In some cases, negative stereotypes have been spread by one country in order to discredit another.
Sometimes countries may promote national stereotypes about themselves in order to instill a sense of patriotism, for examples in wars when an us-vs.-them mentality is often favoured.
An NBC.com article on the validity of national stereotypes suggests that “the stereotypes we all know and love, like the “French lover” and “the icy Brit,” were mostly created by literature”. It explained that “partly because of such “dirty books,” and partly due to French PR, France got the reputation of being sexually free”, and offered evidence to the contrary with a recent survey that showed “76 percent of the French sometimes suffer from lack of sexual response”.
According to an article by The Guardian entitled European stereotypes: what do we think of each other and are we right? – interactive, the Europe stereotype towards Britain is as “drunken, semi-clad hooligans or else snobbish, stiff free marketers”, their view towards France is “cowardly, arrogant, chauvinistic, erotomaniacs”, and they see Germany as “ubver-efficient, dilligent [and] disciplined”. To Europe, Italy is “tax-dodging, Berlusconi-style Latin lovers and mama’s boys, incapable of bravery”, Poland is “heavy-drinking ultracatholics with a whiff of antisemitism”, and Spain is “macho men and fiery woman prone to regular siestas and fiestas”. While some countries such as Germany proudly own their stereotype, others like Spain argue that theirs is a warped view based on experiences while on holiday instead of having actually lived there.
A Pew Global survey of the European countries Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Czech Republic found that stereprypically Europe found Germany to be both the most hardworking and least corrupt, Greece to be the least hardworking, and Italy to be the most corrupt. It is also worth nothing that 5 out of the 8 countries thought their own country was the most corrupt.