Liberté. Egalité. Fertilité

At the beginning of 2006, French prime minister Dominique de Villepin lamented the chorus of commentators gleefully singing dirges for France. A year later, he has his counterexample: in 2006, France pushed past Ireland to become the most fecund nation in the European Union, with an average of two babies per woman. Is there any surer sign that the French aren't embracing decline so much as they are each other? The Lyons daily Le Progrès was among those expressing congratulations to the women of France. "Bravo for having done this in such a gloomy climate," wrote its editorialist. "Everyone talks about...

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