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Les misérables: why are the French so cheerless?

The French have plenty of reasons to be cheerful—and yet they're not

Despite the Cote d’Azur, the Alps, Champagne and some of the greatest food in the world, the French are not happy. Ask them to rate their lives on a 0-10 scale between the worst and best imaginable existence, and—the World Happiness Report finds—they lag not only the world-beating Scandinavians, but also the unequal Anglo-Saxons, and even poorer countries like Guatemala.

The French are reliably convinced their country is headed the wrong way, and politicians like Emmanuel Macron and François Hollande fall from popularity with remarkable speed. Anti-depressant use is high by European…

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