FRANCE: Austerity in August

Two million Parisians went to the provinces and the beaches last week for the biggest annual paid vacation (three weeks) in the country's history, leaving a deserted Paris to the American tourists. But this year their government remained behind in the deserted capital, morosely counting up the consequences of France's "Fly Now—Pay Later" economic policy.

Sitting at the side of Premier Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, his friend and frequent tennis opponent, was the young man entrusted with saving France from economic folly. Handsome, lanky Félix Gaillard at 37 is France's youngest Finance Minister of the century. A man who comes from the...

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