(CNBC) — The French are popping fewer champagne corks and spending less on toys as higher taxes, a deteriorating economy and an exodus of national icons sap the country's joie de vivre .
"There is a moroseness, a sadness among the French population at the moment which has led to our compatriots drinking a little less champagne this year," says Paul-Franois Vranken, chairman and chief executive of Vranken Pommery Monopole, one of the country's best-known Reims-based houses.
"Champagne consumption follows the mood of the country. Today, there isn't a mood conducive to celebration."
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