According to an article by AFP (via Expatica), a poll conducted by BVA has demonstrated racist tendencies among the French. Of course, as with all polls, there are many factors that influence – question wording, tone of voice, social pressure, time of the day asked…etc. Some may argue that these views are based on everyday realities in France, and others consider it outright racism. It’s safe to say that this exists in every country, but I just wanted to highlight an element in France, a country trying to reconcile its past and traditions with its evolving and increasingly multi-ethnic identity. Excerpts below:
More than one in 10 French people admit to being racist and many have prejudicial views of immigrants, homosexuals, blacks, Arab and Jews, according to a survey released Sunday.
A poll by the BVA institute for two anti-discrimination groups found, for example, that 30 percent of the French agree with the idea that Jews have more influence on finance and the media than other groups.
Almost as many, 28 percent, think that Arabs are more likely to commit crimes than members of other groups, a number that has more than doubled since a similar poll was conducted last year.
A significant minority of the French, 15 percent, admit to being “rather or a bit racist”, up one percent on the previous study. Almost half of respondents, 49 percent, thought that immigrants are better able to exploit the social welfare system than are the native French, and 12 percent said homosexuals were more obsessed by sex than others….
BBC has a fantastic guide to an otherwise discouraging subject: the debt and deficit levels in the Eurozone. As you can see, France’s national debt is at 77.6% of GDP, and its deficit is 7.5%, which makes it about the middle of the Eurozone and enough for major concern.
One of the main causes of the currency crisis in the eurozone is that virtually all countries involved have breached their own self-imposed rules.
Under the convergence criteria adopted as part of economic and monetary union, government debt must not exceed 60% of GDP at the end of the fiscal year. Likewise, the annual government deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP. However, as the maps show, only two of the 16 eurozone countries – Luxembourg and Finland – have managed to stick to both rules.
Overall, Greece is the worst offender, with debt at 115.1% of GDP and a deficit of 13.6% of GDP. But among the bigger economies, Italy’s debt is even higher than Greece’s as a percentage of GDP, while Spain’s deficit is 11.2% of GDP. If the UK were in the eurozone, it would also fall foul of the criteria, with its debt now standing at 68.1% of GDP and its deficit at 11.5% of GDP.
From BBC video:
Crowds in Paris watched nervously on Saturday as world champion skater Taig Khris set a new Guinness world record by jumping off the Eiffel Tower with roller skates on.
He launched himself from the famous monument before landing on a giant ramp below.
Jonathon Hall reports.