Amid an economy in the doldrums and widespread discontent with the government and France's ruling classes, the awarding Monday of the Nobel Peace Prize for economics to Frenchman Jean Tirole came as relief.
Beginning with French President Francois Hollande, who saw the award a "a source of pride for France," and followed closely by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who said it was proof France was not losing its touch, the ruling political elite unanimously tried to adopt Tirole almost as reassurance they and France were not doing such a bad job after all.
Valls said that it showed France "thumbs its nose" at its critics, accused of gratuitous French-bashing.
The reality, however, is somewhat different as France battles with Brussels for some oxygen in its budget management and to be allowed some flexibility to manage public debt and administer much-needed austerity.
But honour does go to the Toulouse Professor, Tirole, who at 61 has taken the most prized of prizes, the Nobel in his field of economics.
Tirole said he was surprised to win this most prestigious of awards and become only the third Frenchman to do so in an area where the US has largely dominated.
Tirole was a specialist on the development of game theory and its impact on strategic planning and decision-making in business.
He, himself, is much praised for his work and has received many awards and is a prolific author, but he has also expressed his own concerns about the serious situation for employment in France, where over 10 percent of the workforce is jobless.