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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Sans alternative, la mondialisation inquiète

by Julia Hamlaoui

Short of an Alternative, French People See Globalization As a Threat

Translated Thursday 10 November 2011, by Isabelle Métral and reviewed by Bill Scoble

If a majority of French people see globalization as a threat, they are sceptical about the remedies proposed.

Fiifty per cent (50%) of French people consider globalization a “threat” and only 37% of them consider it “a source of opportunity”, according to a survey published two days ago by THS-SOFRES for TV chanel Canal-Plus. These results have no doubt much to do with the current crisis, rising unemployment and increasingly precarious living that compel an ever-increasing number of French people to tighten their belts- though the survey says nothing about the origin of that feeling.

Only two types of solutions in order “to confront the consequences of globalization” were proposed to the people polled: reciprocal free trade or protectionism either on the French or on the European scale. About three quarters of those polled approve of either solution, even if about 40% of them do not consider them “realistic”.

Which elicits the following comment from Emmanuel Rivière, head of THS-SOFRES’ Opinion strategies department: “The solutions and the choices these solutions involve are not all that clear.” If the real terms of the debate seem to remain fuzzy, the reason may partly be that the issues at stake are not fully presented. The real alternatives would be on the one hand to push free trade and the development of competition further and further, and on the other hand for France to withdraw within its borders, to the detriment of other countries if need be.

What the survey did not propose were the new possible forms of international cooperation. For the model of globalization proposed remains the neo-liberal and financial form that deprives peoples of any power whatsoever.


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