This story in today's Financial Times:
Disillusioned France hungers for reform
France's students are in revolt. Its urban ghettoes are sporadically aflame. Its trades unions are planning national strikes on Tuesday. Its discredited 73-year-old president, Jacques Chirac, is serving out his time. An opinion poll, published by Le Figaro newspaper on Saturday, showed that 50 per cent of French people did not have faith in the market economy – compared with 20 per cent in communist China. One of history's eternal questions resounds around Paris once again: can France reform itself without revolution?
What an extraordinary reversal. Faith in the market economy reflects confidence and a willingness to face risks, lack of faith in the market economy betrays fear of change and a desire for the certainties of the past.
It appears China is looking ahead and France is looking back.