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August 08, 2005

Breaking News: No One Likes The French

Including, or should I say especially, their fellow Europeans, who actually have to deal with them:

Resentment of France is growing in Eastern Europe where French policies are perceived to be anti-American and undermining the European Union's cohesion.

Diplomats describe the mood as "Francophobia" and attribute it to various statements by French President Jacques Chirac and to the rejection by French voters of the proposed European constitution.

According to one assessment, "The vast majority of people in Eastern and Central Europe is highly critical of French diplomacy. They consider the United States to be the big winner of the Cold War and the most influential power in the world."

"We tend to blame the French for everything -- or almost everything," said Jan Eichler of the Institute of International Relations in the Czech Republic.

According to Polish sources, suggestions have been posited in the former communist countries for a more balanced policy by the EU that would see the United States as a partner, not as a competitor. Some diplomats say French prestige and France's role as one of the union's dominant powers have suffered.

And Europe is beginning to reject France's musty claims about French being the "language of diplomacy." English is fast becoming the official language of diplomacy, leaving Frenchmen to sputter.

Michel Herbillon, author of a recent report on the EU's linguistic status, pointed out that the union's recruitment announcements are only in English and that candidates applying for jobs must submit their requests in English.

"What will happen next?" he lamented.

Next up, French will stop even being the "language of impressing a girl in a French restaurant by ordering a la carte with a passable accent," to be supplanted by Italian or, perhaps, even Roman-Romansch, the language of Gypsies.

Thanks to GregS.


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posted by Ace at 04:13 PM

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