As a nation, the French are renowned for enjoying a tipple. Their wines are legendary and a good meal in France is more often than not accompanied by a glass or two of something red or white and a bit fruity.
So you can just imagine how these connoisseurs of the grape reacted to a bunch of busy-bodies telling them to cut down on the boozing for the sake of their health.
The Sun reports that furious French people are finding an anti-alcohol campaign launched by the Public Health France very hard to swallow.
The health initiative urges citizens to put the cork back in the bottle and slash their alcohol consumption to just two meager glasses a day.
To ram home their point the agency has put together a string of advertisements which warns if drinkers do nothing to curb their current consumption they are endangering their health and even their lives.
“For your health, alcohol should be limited to a maximum of two glasses per day, and not every day either.”
Such a suggestion has sparked outrage among many in France who consider it both civilized and cultural to enjoy a few glasses of wine with a good meal.
As the nation’s figurehead, President Emmanuel Macron has reacted strongly to what many perceive as an attack on one of France’s most celebrated industries.
Going on the offensive Macron proved he’s no prude and announced that he consumes wine at both lunch and dinner, and has never seen it as a problem. He also suggested that the public health danger lies with young people getting drunk on strong alcohol or beer, but he doesn’t believe wine is really an issue.
He also said that he has no plans to tighten the laws on alcohol advertising, and suggested those who recommended such policies should “give France a break.”
France 24 interviewed 40-year-old Parisian Caroline, who explained how she grew up “Literally swimming in wine.”
“In my family, our meals together have always been extremely important, and there has always been wine on the table. I’ve tried to install alcohol-free days on Mondays and Tuesdays, but when Monday comes around, and you’re tired from your day at work and after picking up the kids from school, and it’s time for dinner, I feel I kind of deserve that glass. It’s a way for me to unwind,” said Caroline.
Jerome Villaret is a wine producer in France’s Languedoc region and believes, “This kind of publicity campaign upsets the moderate consumer.”