|This page is one
of the annex pages of www.understandfrance.org, the foremost
site on Franco-American intercultural differences. It contains
documents, facts and figures illustrating the content of some
of its pages.
This page contains
Facts and Figures about France and the French. Some are significant,
other less so....
|| Miscellaneous quotes
About protectionism : in 2013, European and American complaints to WTO are strangely symetrical (Source : Le Monde May 15, 2013) :
|Among 19 US complaints to WTO :
||Among 32 European complaints to WTO :
|Governments' funding of Airbus
||Government's funding of Boeing
|Prohibition of hormone beef and GMO
||Quotas on imported steel
|Prohibition of chloride-washed meat (chickens)
|Protection of AOC products (see definition)
||Limitations on imports of wine
Fletcher Crossman, an Englishman, writes (International Herald
Tribune,Jan.28, 2004) : "(This) feeling has never been
totally expunged from the European psyche. However clear-cut
the rationale sounds at the start of a war, the reality always
results in atrocities, injustices and moral ambiguity...... America
emerged from the devastation in a pre-eminent position, its infrastructure
intact. .... America is the brave young soldier, with shining
eyes and a firm jaw, marching towards a battle that will make
the world a better place. Europe is the bitter old veteran sitting
on the sidewalk, his medals collecting dust somewhere, shaking
his head knowingly as the young soldier passes by. Both views
are valid and both are forged in the furnace of experience....
Perhaps Europeans don't have the most courageous of instincts.
Not anymore. They still live in the shadow of two unthinkable
wars, and have learnt that patriotism and courageous instincts
have too often resulted in corruption, destruction and death.'
About France and
les Français, vous oscillez entre l'arrogance et l'autoflagellation,
reussissant même à cultiver les deux à la
fois. Vous pratiquez l'arrogance, dernier vestige du temps de
votre puissance perdue et vous vous flagellez, complexés
par l'obsession de ne pas parvenir à ce que vous imaginez
être l'efficacité américaine. A titre de
francophone du Québec dont les racines françaises
remontent au XVIIème siècle, je ne vous laisserai
pas me renvoyer de vous cette image déprimante d'un peuple
qui semble se convaincre que ses forces sont ses faiblesses et
vice-versa.Tant que je parlerai français, que je lirai
en français, que je rêverai en français,
je m'autorise le droit de vous critiquer. Car je refuse que vous
bradiez une partie du patrimoine culturel que je partage avec
vous" (Denise Bombardier)
- "What's a Frenchman
? An Italian in a bad mood" (Jean Cocteau)
- "If France was a stock,
I'd sell it" (Thomas Friedman)
- " There is a nation
that the French treat with more grudge that Germany, more anger
than Italy, more unfairness than Britain. It is toward the French
that the French express the most savage animosity, more ceaseless
and more inequitable than with the citizens of any other nation
: Gallus gallo lupus " (John H.Motley)
- "The French constitute
the most brilliant and the most dangerous nation in Europe and
the best qualified in turn to become an object of admiration,
hatred, pity or terror but never indifference" (Alexis
- "France has neither
winter, summer, nor morals. Apart from that, it is a fine country"
- "I do not dislike the
French for the vulgar antipathy between neighbouring nations,
but for their insolent and unfounded airs of superiority"
- "I do not believe there
is another city on earth so beautiful as Paris nor another people
with such an appreciation of the beautiful as the French.....
The light was different from anything I had known. The shadows
were luminous, more reflected light. Even under the bridges there
was a certain luminosity." (Edward Hopper, after he
stayed in Paris in 1906-1907)
- "America is my country,
and Paris is my hometown"
About America and
- (a strongly prejudiced one)
"America is the only nation in history which miraculously
has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the
usual interval of civilization" (Georges Clémenceau)
- "America is my country
and Paris is my hometown" (Gertrude Stein)
- "when good Americans
die, they go to Paris" (Oscar Wilde)
Back to Intercultural
you feel European ? Poll (Eurobaromètre, April 2000) of 16,000
European citizens : Question
1 : Do you feel exclusively European? European and national
? National and European ? Exclusively national ? Question 2 : Favorable opinion toward
the European Union ?
| Question 1
: National and European
| Question 2
Back to Europe
- "The battle for Britain's euro entry lies
in exploding the myths of Brussels' power"
: The Independent (Sept.17, 2003) wrote a very interesting
article with the following comparison :
Back to Europe
| The EU constitution would lead
to British taxes being set by Brussels
|| It does not give EU states
a power to fix or harmonize direct taxation. Britain has indicated
it would block any future proposals on this matter.
| The constitution would allow
the EU to alter the welfare system if a majority of member
states voted in favor of it
|| All decisions on social security
must be made by unanimous voting by member states. Sinc the UK
has a veto in the EU council of ministers, Brussels' law-making
body, we could always rule this out.
| Once the EU constitution is ratified, the
British legal system will be harmonized and a European public
prosecutor would take charge of criminal cases in this country
|| This is an option, but it would have to
be voted on. All 25 member states- including 10 new accession
countries joining in May 2004- would have to agree to the proposal.
| The EU is poised to take hold
of Britain's multimillion-pound oil reserves, and seize hold
of "energy supplies". Brussels would eb able
to transfer control of North Sea oil, gas and coal to an EU state
is there is a global energy crisis.
|| Article III-152 of the draft
treaty aims to preserve the environment while maintening a single
market. It is a restatement of existing rules, which UK ministers
already agreed to. The clause would not allow Brussels to seize
Britain's oil stock.
| The EU constitution would stop
the Queen being head of state.
|| There is no truth in this.
A permanent President of the Council of Ministers is to be appointed.
The president will have no law-making powers. Also, the EU is
not a state.
| The Euro is holding
back living standards and countries that joined the signgle currency
have lagged further behind the US economy.
|| Over the past three years,
GDP per capita has risen by 5.9% in the EU, but only 1% in the
| Joining the euro has hampered
investment and not boosted eurozone growth.
|| Cross-border investment in
the eurozone is rising as a result of a common currency. Since
the euro was launched, foreign investment in Britain has fallen
| Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
is to be scrapped because of a looming EU ban on competition
with prizes of more than £70,000.
|| An amendment to a proposal
that "individual prizes awarded in promotional games may
not exceed Euro 100,000" was tabled in the Council of Ministers.
But it would have nothing to do with Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
because the quiz is not a "promotional game".
| Britain will be flooded with
immigrant workers after EU enlargement.
|| Ten states are to join next
year. There is no evidence that Eastern Europeans will want to
work in Britain. There were similar predictions when Greece joined
the EU in 1981 but they proved wrong. The right to work and live
in another EU state is reciprocal.
| Smokey-bacon flavoured crisps
are to be banned under new Euro regulation.
|| The EU Parliament wants to
take action because they may contain cancer-causing agents. The
proposed directive would establish a testing system, but not
a ban on safe products.
| The European Commission wil
abolisk the .uk on British internet addresses.
|| A .eu domain name will not
replace the .uk, but il will be an option.
| Fish and chip shop owners
could be forced to sell fish using their Latin name.
|| The Commission wants clearer
labelling on fish products. The measure will stop retailers passing
off cheaper fillets for cod or plaice. All labels will be in
|To related pages : history, etc...
of the page
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Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French.
Order her books :
- "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
- "French Toast, An American in Paris
Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press,
New York, 1999
- "French Fried, The Culinary Capers
of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
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