Sunday, November 23, 2008

French Cafés in Free Fall

Steven Erlanger in today's New York Times reports a frightening statistic : "In 1960, France had 200,000 cafes," said Bernard Quartier, president of the National Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques. "Now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day."

The culprits are largely the ban on smoking in cafés and restaurants, and of course the hellish descent into economic depression. Oh, yes, young people go to the supermarket, get a 3 euro bottle of plonque and sit at home with their cigarettes and get loaded while watching reality tee vee.

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