Is France ungovernable? >> .:thebusinessonline.com:.
Its economy is sick, its people refuse to accept much-needed reforms, there are riots on the streets, government ministers are at each others’ throats and Chirac sits brooding in the Elysée Palace like a lame-duck president
AT the heart of the French protests is a refusal to acknowledge economic reality. The French are now officially the most anti-capitalist nation on earth, according to a new Globescan poll. Only 36% of the French agree that a free-market economy “is the best system on which to base the future of the world”, by far the lowest of any country, and 50% disagree. It is an appalling indictment of France’s media, education system and elite that half the country has in effect no economic understanding whatsoever. In China, by contrast, 74% of the population now support capitalism, a system that theory and practice has shown to be immensely superior at generating and spreading wealth than socialism, fascism, extreme environmentalism or any other of the statist nostrums apparently favoured by the French population. On top of their wholesale rejection of the market economy, free trade and globalisation, the French have also become extremely pessimistic: 83% believe that their economy is getting worse, more than in any nation bar Zimbabwe, according to the Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.