No Reforms Please, We're French

CHARLES PLATEAU/REUTERS

Burning Issue: Firefighters want the right to retire at 50

As victory cries go, it was less than rousing: "This is not a return to grace," French Socialist official Jean-Christophe Cambadélis said last week, "but rather the end of disgrace." Given his party's dramatic gains in the first round of balloting for French regional councils, you might have expected a bit more bravado. After all, it was the Socialists' first big win in two humiliating, ineffective years. But Cambadélis and his colleagues know their victory has little to do with any surge in the party's electoral appeal and a lot to do with rising public disdain for the ruling Union for...

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