By giving Nicolas Sarkosy a clear-cut majority, the French have heard the Crimson (“Oui Are For Sarko,” oped, May 4). Now The Crimson should look more carefully at France. There are some (minor) factual errors in your stimulating piece in support of Sarkozy, but when you talk about “France’s demographic decline” you are making a serious mistake. France has actually the highest fertility rate of the European Union in 2005, even ahead of booming Ireland. Yet, Eurobarometer polls show that French are the most pessimistic of all Europeans with regards to their future. The French paradox, if ever there was one, lies here: how come so many people making so many babies can be that pessimistic about their future? A though one for Sarkosy to solve.
May 17, 2007
The writer is a researcher at the Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques of Sciences-Po University, in Paris.