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Americans Wanted in Europe

Some acquaintances of mine recently returned from Europe, and apparently, the people over there went out of their way to be nice and to present a friendly face. Instapundit cites some data that helps to explain why:

In Britain - the most popular destination for American tourists to Europe - figures for the first half of 2003 show an 11 percent decline in US visitors. In Italy, it's more than 20 percent, while in France, it's even worse: an estimated 26 percent drop this year.

"Until Sept. 11, about 45 percent of our clients were Americans," laments Mauricio Mistarz, head receptionist at a small three-star hotel on the Left Bank in Paris. "Now, on a good day, Americans fill 20 percent of our rooms."

It isn't only that bad; Americans apparently tend to stay longer and to spend more when they visit. I guess that's the upside of the "ugly American."

Look, as long as I've been alive, European condescension toward America and outward contempt for American culture has been tacitly understood. It's just that now Americans are waking up from the stupor of the elitist, lazy, and selfish temper that has predominated over the past few decades, and as a consequence, we do not dislike ourselves as much.

Hopefully the "European street" will take the opportunity for some reflection and, perhaps, find the wherewithal to pull back from the precipice of socialisme.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 07:39 PM EST