World News

French more anti-capitalist than the Chinese - poll

People sit on the grass and sunbathe near the Trocadero fountains across from the Eiffel Tower on a hot summer day in Paris August 19, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - The French are more opposed to free market capitalism than the inhabitants of Communist China and other advanced economies, an opinion poll published on Wednesday showed.

The survey by pollster IFOP published in La Croix newspaper showed that 33 percent of French people believe it is time to abandon capitalism, the highest proportion among the 10 countries surveyed.

In China, which is ruled by the Communist Party but has embraced its own brand of capitalism, just 3 percent of those questioned thought that the market system was working badly. China posted economic growth of more than 10 percent last year.

Some 65 percent of the Chinese surveyed said the current system was working well and should not be changed, the highest percentage in the poll, followed by Australia with 63 percent, Brazil with 57 and the United States with 55 percent.

The survey, conducted between Dec. 8 and 23 from some 600 respondents in each country, also showed that the Chinese were the most convinced that wider international trade was in their interest, with 90 percent answering “yes”.

The United States was the most negative about the impact of expanding international trade on their economy, with just 39 percent of those surveyed in favour of it.

The poll came hot on the heels of another survey by BVA-Gallup earlier this month showing the French were more negative about their economic prospects than many countries including Afghanistan and Iraq.

That survey showed 61 percent of French people believe this year will be plagued by economic difficulties.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right government, which faces an election in early 2012, estimates its 1.9 trillion euro economy grew by at least 1.5 percent last year, and is on track to expand by 2.0 percent in 2011.

Reporting by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton