Although the French stand by the euro, a recent report by US think tank Pew Research Center indicates they are falling out of love with the European Union — with only 41 percent of French people in favour of the EU.
The French have to live with many stereotypes. They love to smoke, go on strike, eat too much garlic, and are very fond of the European Union. But sometimes les français like to defy stereotypes, and recent evidence has shown they may not be the Europe-loving people we make them out to be.
The French and Germans are often portrayed as Europe’s leading tandem. Au contraire, according to Pew research. The prolonged economic crisis has been “pulling European public opinion apart, separating the French from the Germans and the Germans from everyone else,” says the report, calling the European Union “The New Sick Man of Europe.”
Sticking to their reputation as petulant whiners, the French are unhappy with the EU job market, lack of leadership, institutions, and especially the economy, with 77 percent of French people believing that European economic integration has made things worse for France, an increase of 14 points from last year.
“Most of [the report] seems blindingly obvious,” says Tim Judah, writing for Bloomberg news.
“When the economy is in bad shape, people are in a bad mood—and in this case after five years of bad economic news, Europeans are in a terrible mood,” he said.
But if the French have fallen out of love with everything about Europe, they still have a soft spot for the euro, with 63 percent of French people wanting to keep the common currency.
It looks as though the French aren’t quite ready to say “au revoir” to Europe just yet.
Date created : 2013-05-16