France full of doom and gloom over future: poll
LONDON, June 19, 2006 (AFP) - The French are highly pessimistic about their country's future, with 85 percent finding their nation headed in the wrong direction, a survey of five European countries published here Monday showed.
The poll in the Financial Times newspaper, spanning 5,000 people across Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, found that Spaniards were the most optimistic, with 44 percent believing their country was on the right track as opposed to 45 percent thinking the opposite.
The FT business daily put their confidence down to a buoyant property market and strong economic growth.
Just nine percent of French respondents thought the country was moving in the right direction as it enters the final months of Jacques Chirac’s 12-year presidency, ahead of elections in April.
Britons were nearly as glum, with only 21 percent saying things were on the right track and 66 percent finding the country headed down the wrong path, followed by the Germans and the Italians.
Europeans feel that the United States poses the biggest threat to global safety — more so than Iran, China, Iraq, Russia and North Korea — the poll showed.
The survey found that in Italy, France and Britain, more people favoured than opposed the construction of new nuclear power stations.
The FT said the results should provide some relief for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is undertaking a major energy policy review and supports a new generation of nuclear power plants.
Across the five countries, 44 percent were in favour while 43 percent were opposed.
The survey also found that Europeans thought it was too easy for foreign companies to take over businesses in their countries.
Concern over foreign predators was highest in Britain (68 percent), followed by Germany (57 percent), France (52 percent) and Italy (50 percent).
Harris Interactive interviewed 5,000 adults across the five countries between June 6 and 9.
Subject: French news