A friend working for a French-based bank was asked by a French colleague about holidays. The conversation went as follows:

French colleague: "How many holidays a year do you have?"

UK Friend: "23 days. How about you?"

French colleague: "I am embarrassed to tell you."

UK Friend: "No, go on."

French colleague: "I have 10 weeks off."

UK Friend: "10 weeks!"

French colleague: "But you have public holidays, of course, as well."

UK Friend: "Don't you have Bastille Day, Christmas Day, Easter holiday and so on?"

French colleague (with a shrug): "Everyone has those."

In fact the French have 11 public holidays a year, compared to 8 in the UK. The above conversation really took place, and is not a 'joke of the day.' It does, though, raise the question of why the French economy is not a bigger joke than it is.