It is generally thought that nations are becoming more globalized and therefore more alike, but the response of British and French citizens to their respective country’s economic situation is perfectly in tune with each country’s national character. Historical experience may play a role, as the British remember war-time rationing fondly, while the French have a history of getting much accomplished via street protests. Both country’s political scenes have an effect as well: French authorities spend money on expensive art and travel, while the British have a coalition government with a broad pool of citizenry with varying sympathies. Time will tell, but national character will determine how each nation deals with its problems.
Applebaum is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign affairs.
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