I buy Le Monde on Fridays, ostensibly for the book reviews, but something else often catches my eye. Today it was a story entitled Facebook saoule la préfectorale, about the trend for French young people to organise street parties on Facebook at which they get drunk in a manner Le Monde haughtily describes as plutôt anglo-saxonne.
Thousands have attended such parties in Nantes, Rennes, Caen, Brest and last night in the main square of Clermont-Ferrand. In some of these cities, the police have tried to ban the public consumption of alcohol, in others they have been more tolerant. The next city for one of these parties is Paris herself, on 23 May.
When British licensing laws were changed in 2003 politicians expressed the pious hope that the British would import the more leisurely and civilised attitude to alcohol of southern Europe. Alas, British binge drinking seems to be our chief export.