Brad Setser cites some of the french blogosphere in a provocative post France: The most “Anglo-Saxon” of the big 3 continental economies:

That's a headline you won't see in the financial or popular press.

The basic narrative is already established: France won't change, and as a result, will lag behind the more flexible "Anglo-Saxon" economies.

French labor market and social institutions certainly do differ from those in the US. Personally, I think the US could learn a thing or two from France's health care system (I have direct experience with both systems, having lived in both countries). And I suspect France could learn a thing or two from the US as well. Not all aspects of the French model are working right now. [...]

Brad follows with some macro-economics data showing a very different picture than the biased data present on Debat 2007 which BTW looks more and more like good old propaganda, only new thing being that 10% of content will not follow the same bias and will probably used as an excuse for the rest.

France health care is counted as "prélèvement obligatoire", but well, not all of that is badly spent after all? Brad does not miss the hypocrit dinosaurs currently ruling the country:

There is a certain irony in all the commentary arguing that French students are blocking France's transition to the twenty-first century, while de Villepin -- a poetry-writing, never-elected enarque who in many ways embodies the French post-war establishment -- repesents the future.

But back on the economics, it looks like some stress the importance of strong consumption and consumer confidence on growth, is it then absolutely necessary to try to bring down consumer morale with measures widely regarded at best as dubious from an economics point of view?