FRANCE: Tall Tolls

The 100-mile, 60-yard-wide, sea-level Suez Canal is managed by an Egyptian company (Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez). Its neutrality, even in war, is technically guaranteed by an international agreement. But since Britain's life line is drawn out hair-thin as it threads this needle's eye, 10,000 British troops, 400 British airmen guard it. Since most of the stockholders are French, 19 of the 32 directors are Frenchmen (ten are British, two Egyptian, one Dutch). Italians have long clamored for lower Canal tolls and representation on the Board of Directors, chiefly because Italy spends big money on Suez tolls...

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