Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks, brunoken.  I've wanted to know the answers to some of these questions, myself.

I don't live in France, nor do I have access to much news from France, beyond the obvious cases of student protests and immigrant car-burning, but I keep hearing that the French people lack anything resembling optimism and confidence about their country and status in the world.  I've read articles in the past that stated the French people lack self-esteem.  And yet, despite that (if it is true), I never see any politician proposing serious reforms.

Perhaps the French government could stop worrying about a Frenchman speaking English -- yes, Jacques, even if his remark about English being "the language of business" was insulting to you; frankly, I wouldn't care, even if I were French-speaking -- and start focusing on policies to make life better for French citizens.  If it sees a problem, work on measures to solve the problem.  It's amazing to me -- and it's not at all a France-only issue -- to see how politicians can sit around like a bunch of morons, talking all God-damned day about "problems" and "reforms" and "(blah...blah...blah...)," yet never get anything done.

Now for a bit of ranting about the press:

Why is France always the focus?  Why not Germany?  The unemployment rate is almost two percentage points higher in Germany than in France, but the business press keeps talking about a massive German recovery.

I'm so tired of picking up the paper every morning and finding another story about problems in France -- whether it's the "petit bourgeois" students (quote from an official in the NYT), or the crazy immigrants, or the union strikes that screw with public services, or whatever.  Enough.  I want to read news from France, but is this really the best news coverage we can produce -- the same stories, over and over again?  Write about wine and cheese, for Christ's sake, or about how American women all want to sleep with French men because of their sexy accents and great suits.  Something cheerful!

God Almighty, you'd think the country was on the verge of collapse, reading what the English-speaking press has to say.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 31st, 2006 at 11:53:14 AM EST

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