As we, the French, boast zero increase in the unemployment rate in France, as Marine Lepen, the President of the Front National, insists on French economic protectionism and as the Macron law is forced through parliament so as to make significant changes in the country; the question "Is France still as great, shining and attractive as it used to be?" can be legitimately asked.
To answer this question, lets simply have a look at the city of Paris and its aura. In 1939, the French singer Maurice Chevalier sang "Paris sera toujours Paris (Paris will always be Paris)". But is Paris still the same 80 years later?
Paris definitely remains an important city and the decentralization, imposed by the Defferre or Raffarin Laws has not changed that. Paris is indeed seductive, still able to create desire and is remains an example to be followed. Paris, considered to be the temple of elegance and fashion, has seen Chinese brands opening boutiques in Paris to give legitimacy to their labels -- so French. The economy of the country remains mainly based on tourism. This is only one of the trees that hide the forest.
Is the city of Paris worn out?
Ask people around you, the big parties take place in Berlin or London, incomes are higher in other capital cities, company taxation is more lenient anywhere else than in France. These are just a few of a long list that is heading towards ruining our economy and dampening our morale. We, the French, keep reminding ourselves that we come from the Lumières and, as a consequence, we have become blind and unable to move on.
The result is cruel: Paris is a city museum plagued by a divided executive power, for which personal interests have more value than the common good. This reality is hard but exists nevertheless, Parisian people and, more generally, French people are selfish. They refuse any forms of change, they accept fatalism and prefer to succumb to the ambient gloom that engulfs France instead of fighting it.
What a waste! We have all the cards to win the game: the region "Ile-de-France" is the first region in Western Europe to encourage the development of start-ups -- 816, 000 companies are already based there -- and it ranks first in Europe with the highest number of patents issued in high technologies thanks to its 100,000 researchers.
So, let's put an end to this waste!
Ms Hidalgo, Mr. Huchon, Mr. Macron, Mr. Holland, when will you be brave enough to make unpopular but necessary decisions? You talk to us about products "Made-in France" but where exactly is the value and the real benefit? If I have to buy a product, I will choose it for its quality/price ratio and not for where it is made. Now, the French flag is no more than the symbol of a climate of overwhelming blues and of negative feeling.
What about you, the opposition parties, when will you be ready to constructively be united and suggest real amendments? What about us, the French, when will we stop thinking that the English language is only an option and that France and Paris are shining beyond its borders? Let's stop being afraid of liberalizing work and contracts! We should institute a unique cross-borders contract, for example. Let's stop being afraid of accepting free competition and its benefits!
We have all the necessary keys to create the solutions. We just lack a bit of determination, courage and, above all, solidarity. I love my country and I do not want to read in the newspapers that more and more people are applying to change their nationalities for tax purpose, like in the United States, and because they think they will find happiness elsewhere.