FRANCE: The Empty Heart

Rot was discovered in the stately chestnut trees ringing the Rond-point on Paris' Champs Elysées last week; every one would have to be uprooted. Wrote Le Figaro: "Weakened and tormented by polluted air, the hearts of these great trees empty little by little." Frenchmen saw in the words an all too obvious simile for the nation.

¶At midweek, a 15-hour strike by 300,000. gas and electrical workers all but paralyzed all France. Industry shut down, transport became hopelessly tangled. Elevators and subways halted, refrigerators and stoves ceased operating. France sat down to a cold dinner to reflect...

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