Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Europe united in dislike for the French

From Henry Samuel writing in the U.K. News Telegraph comes the startling revelation that Europeans just plain don’t like the French! In a study conducted by two French citizens, people across Europe were asked what five adjectives described the French. The results are not going to warm the hearts of Frenchmen toward their fellow Europeans.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".

Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".

Apparently it’s not just a nationalistic thing, it’s personal. Because it isn’t France the Europeans don’t like, it’s the French:

According to Mr Clodong, [one of the authors of the study] the old adage that France is wonderful, it's just the French who are the problem, is shared across Europe.
"We are admired for our trains, the Airbus and Michelin tyres. But the buck stops there," he said.

Hmmmmmm... how could anybody not love the French?

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