Suicide epidemic illuminates an anxiety crisis in the French workplace

Something is amiss in the land of leisurely lunches and six-week-plus paid vacations. The French, known more for their joie de vivre than workaholism, are in a crisis after a series of job-related suicides at several top corporations -- including a shocking 25 deaths at France Télécom (FTE), Europe's largest broadband Internet provider, since February 2008.

The suicide spree -- the latest victim, on Saturday, was an employee at defense contractor Thales -- has raised concerns about le stress at the workplace. In a country where job security has been reliable, a rash of job losses, relocations, and outsourcings has taken its toll.