For years, France has fought what is sees as an American cultural invasion, powered by Hollywood movies, U.S. pop music and giant brands like Coca-Cola. Now, it is going to great lengths to save an American cultural icon in its backyard: Disneyland
The French government has just finished helping Walt Disney Co. bail out Euro Disney SCA, the operator of two Disney theme parks outside Paris. A state-owned bank is contributing around $500 million in investments and local concessions to save Euro Disney from bankruptcy. This comes after 17 years during which French leaders have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and countless hours to ensure that the land of Money could keep Mickey Mouse. Still saddled with debt, Euro Disney is gambling that expensive new attractions and an improved tourism climate will deliver a turnaround.
That is from the front page of The Wall Street Journal, 26 January. And here is a previous installment of The Cultural Exception.