Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

France

Youth urged to ‘break free’ of ‘decaying’ France

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-09-16

Three influential young Frenchmen have launched a campaign encouraging the country’s youth to seek their fortunes abroad, calling France “a decaying and ultra-centralised country run by old men”.

Young French people should ditch the idea of staying in their native land in order to find work and hope for the future abroad, according to a trio of successful French thirty-somethings.

Rapper Mokless encourages young people to get on their bikes (2010)

Entrepreneur Félix Marquardt, rapper Mokless and journalist Mouloud Achour launched a campaign dubbed “Barrez-Vous” (“get out” or “break free”) at the beginning of September.

In an editorial in left-leaning daily Libération, the trio told French young people that they lived “in a decaying and ultra-centralised country run by old men which is falling to bits one piece at a time.”

France, they said, is no longer in its golden age and the current generation will be the first to be worse-off than its parents. They added that country's economic policies are deliberately unfavourable to the young, meaning that one in four people under 35 is out of work.

Quitting France for better prospects abroad is not a new idea and there are large expatriate French populations abroad, notably London - which has some 400,000 French residents, attracted by a more liberal working environment and higher salaries.

But the “Barrez-vous” campaign is the first high-profile example of influential French citizens telling their compatriots they would be better off out of the country.

“A society that treats its young people like this is a society in decline,” they wrote, saying that emerging countries such as Brazil, Colombia, China and Senegal were places that had a genuine hope for the future.

“French youth, your salvation lies elsewhere. It’s not just about running away from a country with bleak economic prospects. It is about reinventing yourselves so that you can return rich in new experiences, full of the creativity and enthusiasm that flourishes today in the four corners of the world.”

‘Stay and fight’

Critics of the “Barrez-vous” campaign have pointed to the link between encouraging young people to leave and the lamentable exodus of France’s super rich, keen to avoid the new Socialist government’s plan to tax the country’s highest earners at 70 percent.

An opinion piece in Le Monde, France’s left-leaning newspaper of reference, by another trio of young French thinkers responded by drawing the parallel.

They told French youth the priority had to be to “stay in France and fight for your future rather than running away.”

Thomas Friang, founder of think tank Youth Diplomacy, MEP Nathalie Griesbeck and former Foreign Secretary Jean-Marc Roubaud warned young people “not to throw the baby out with the bathwater” if they were considering seeking their fortunes abroad.

“The stakes are too high,” they wrote, conceding that while young people had been encouraged to fight for their - and their country's - future, “nobody had told them exactly how this should be done.”

Thanking the Barrez-vous campaign for raising the issue, they finished: “French youth, it is now up to you to respond pragmatically to this debate.”

 

Date created : 2012-09-16

  • FRANCE

    French Communists just want to have fun

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France’s gay marriage bill: nobody’s happy

    Read more

COMMENT(S)