Zut alors - Le homme speakee le sense
THE French need to work harder and display less arrogance, if they are to recapture former glories, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister, tells his countrymen in a highly personal 281-page book published yesterday.
Hailing modern Britain as an example, M Sarkozy urges voters to remove their heads from the sand, accept that France is in decline and embrace the market economy as the path to revival.
And in a comment that will infuriate traditionalists, he says that the French should no longer insist on speaking their own language in international negotiations and instead should use English.
“We should ask ourselves why the English buy our houses in the Dordogne, in the Périgord ... and in many other regions. The answer is simply because the British GDP is 10 per cent greater than the French and that the standard of life of the British is higher than that of the French”
“We have committed the immense error of undermining work. When someone who works does not have a better life than someone who does not work, why should he get up in the morning?”
It will be interesting to see how the French respond to this wake up call - and how depressing it is to see us go in the other direction.