Unusually, the French are Happy

Lionel Jospin told a group of foreigners last summer that "it is a sociological fact that the French are always discontented with how they are governed." Yet polls show the French feel prosperous and confident in the future.

Issue: Winter 1998-1999

Last August the Paris newspaper Le Monde published a front-page
article, entitled "Quand la France s'amuse . . .", announcing that
the French were happy: "For the first time in a long time a strange
climate reigns in France, an ambiance of fête." The author attributed
this not only to victory in the Soccer World Cup but to a fall in
unemployment and general satisfaction with the national outlook. The
French, the article said, were actually enjoying their vacations.
This deserved front-page treatment. It was sensational news.

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