OK Mark I understand the point. The comments in the article seemed so one sided and a caricature of a typical British view of the French I should have realised.
I think you will still agree if you know France well that position is tosh.
It’s misleading anyway to compare the two countries. France is a rich, advanced, developed, democratic nation. Spain is a relatively young country developing quickly and now struggling.
I say young in the sense that the modern state was only born after Franco. In the Franco years it was positively medieval.
I would agree the French people take some understanding. However learning their language and exchanging social dialogue goes a long way in France. Their values are different. Wealth creation is secondary to ‘joie de vivre’, self understanding and their place in the world. It’s also very socialist politically despite the far right.
The Spanish equally love life but their main centre of focus is family.
In both these values systems the British as ex pats will always be outsiders looking in. It’s for these reasons the British fail to integrate very well in either country and stick to their own communities.
Both countries have something to offer as a place to live. Spain used to be attractive for a low cost of living. That has now gone. The climate now is the principal, perhaps only advantage.
France has much more than that and as a destination for the British second to none in Europe or even the world.