That is what readers of an article on the state of the French economy must have concluded. The piece paints a very dire picture of France's economy, comparing it unfavorable with Spain, which is praised for instituting severe austerity measures.

While Spain's austerity measures have succeeded in raising its unemployment rate to more than 25 percent, the highest in Europe, they have not brought about growth. Its economy shrank this year and is projected by the IMF to shrink by another 1.3 percent next year. France's economy is projected to grow by 0.4 percent. In fact, the IMF projects that France's growth will modestly outpace Spain's through the remainder of its forecast period (2014-2017) as well.

In short, given the evidence on their relative economic performances it is unlikely that anyone in France would envy Spain, unless of course they viewed unemployment as an end in itself.

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