An Irish ratings service has just published a ranking of countries in terms of quality of life. France is considered the best in the world coming before Switzerland and the US and, not surprisingly, 191 places ahead of Iraq, which comes in last place.
Some young French people have already responded to their country's high ranking. An unemployed 36-years-old from Nice, a currently-unemployed retailer from Paris and a business student all said the same things. Although French dole money is currently at 450 euros a month, people said they were grateful for the social services that help people to keep their dignity. The students reported their satisfaction in the quality of culture and leisure available, good working conditions, the 35 hour week, well-maintained state infrastructure of the road and quality buildings - all because of the correct level of taxation. Even the unemployed retailer had good things to say about the country, stating that the strong economy produces a wide range of products, renowned gastronomy, and a good geographical situation in the heart of Europe, with different climates.
I find all the comments amazing. Certainly, if an unemployed retailer, a student and a young person on the dole in the UK were to comment about their country, the comments would be very different! But then, the English in particular are famous for NOT displaying a nationalistic pride for their homeland. The French, like the Americans, are proud of their country and seek to show it everywhere they go. They never seem to run it down in public as do the English. You can't say that the English attitude is a result of the hordes of invading forces over the centuries, because America is also a land of immigrants. You never hear an English PM say to his 'adoring' fans: '...my fellow English.....'. Maybe that's the trouble - he should!
Anyway, well done France. You must be doing something right.