Letter: French remain stuck in the Seventies

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The Independent Online
Sir: Having just returned from France, I couldn't agree more with the analysis by Mario Vargas Llosa ("The disaster striking France", 20 June) of the ills of that country's political culture. Strip away the few gleaming monuments to state spending - the TGV, exciting architectural works and so on - and what one is left with could pass for Britain in the Seventies.

My fear is that the French people have actually got the politicians they deserve: the nation as a whole is hooked on its system of work practices, state benefits and subsidies. The French have a great fear of increasing "mondialisation"; that it will destroy the country's character. A far greater danger is that they will fail to grab the political nettle; the continuing sickness within the state is far more insidious than anything from without.