FRANCE – The most detestable country in the world?
If you believe the front pages of magazines around the world, everybody hates France. But why so much hatred? Contentious politics, sports scandals, arrogance … the reasons are numerous. Will France become the most hated country in the world ? Sacrebleu !
“Are you French?” Is a question whose answer once aroused a certain pride. Today, it might be a little different. If you wouldn’t go to the point of denying your nationality for a bit of tranquility, this question could almost make you uncomfortable. And there is a reason why, because being French today, more than yesterday, comes with a burden.
A political baggage
In recent weeks, the government has made strong decisions. Because of the international controversy surrounding the expulsion of Rom people, the president and his troops have made headlines in the New York Times, The Guardian or The Economist. Something to be proud of? No, ashamed! Given the number of references to Vichy, the Gestapo or the small size of Nicolas Sarkozy, we would gladly avoid that kind of advertising. Moreover, even the UN and the European Union have had their say, and it was not the most flattering. The early mandate bling of Sarkozy, adored by the international media, is now only a shadow of himself, even with Carla. “The switch was made at the time of the Epad case, in October 2009,” said Nancy Ing-Duclos, director for NBC. If the tenant of the Elysee wasn’ t so mocked, he would even scare some. The Economist pictured him wearing Napoleon’s hat, Fidel Castro said he was “crazy”. If we add to this the Woerth scandal, we are far from the splendor of the Enlightenment.
A rooster with its feet in the m …
Worse than politics, sport! Although the Elysee does not shine bright, one could think that French athletes will bring back some honor. If the French swimmers won a plethora of medals at the last European Championships, they didn’t’ outshine the media scandal of the French football players during last World Cup in South Africa. In addition to losing all their games and return to France with their tail between their legs, the players showed a very bad image of France following the now famous mutiny in Knysna. Fair play wasn’ t part of the game when Raymond Domenech has even refused to shake the hand of the South African coach after the last match. And then, when we thought the athletes had learned their lesson, the judoka Teddy Riner, disappointed to have lost the final of the World Championships, has already turned down his opponent’s handshake.
To outside observers, the French disappointments are after all the result of traits usually attributed to French people: stubbornness and arrogance. It is not for nothing that the French tourists are always designated as the least enjoyable of the planet. As for foreigners visiting our “beautiful country”, France may well be the first tourist destination in the world, it is not the most welcoming. You only need to see Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport to be convinced. It has been elected again this year worst airport in the world. If the accordion, berets, romanticism, the french kiss and ratatouille have their charm, this is now no longer enough to attract people. The French touch won’ t turn everything into gold. “We expect more than good food and beautiful architecture” warns the American director, Sofia Coppola. So why not train to put on a smile, make an effort to speak a foreign language and question ourselves? If politicians will struggle to try it, everyone can contribute to its own scale. So that our “Vive la France” don’ t all become ironic.