Hijos de franceses

Una característica enigmática, y que se suele pasar por alto, de la Francia que eligió a Nicolas Sarkozy como su nuevo presidente, y que ahora está inclinada a darles a sus aliados políticos un mandato parlamentario poderoso, es su mezcla de optimismo privado y pesimismo público.

Consideremos lo siguiente: Francia tiene la tasa de fertilidad más alta de la Unión Europea (apenas por debajo de dos hijos por mujer), incluso superior a la de la próspera Irlanda. Por supuesto, esa tasa por sí sola no basta para sustentar la actual población de Francia, pero es mucho más sólida que la de sus vecinos europeos y casi igual a la de Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, a pesar de esto, las encuestas de Eurobarometer demuestran de manera consistente que los franceses son los más pesimistas de todos los europeos en lo que se refiere al futuro de su país. ¿Cómo puede ser que gente que es tan negativa frente a su futuro común como país construya con tanta confianza sus futuros privados en el seno de sus familias?

Por cierto, a los franceses, agobiados por décadas de imposibilidad por parte del gobierno de frenar el desempleo masivo, hoy se los suele percibir como si se hubiesen retirado de la esfera política para concentrarse en sus vidas y su ocio. Los museos, la jardinería, los clubes de todo tipo están en auge en la Francia de hoy. Pareciera que las asociaciones privadas ocuparon el lugar que dejaron los partidos políticos y los sindicatos.

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