France: One Man's Meat

Like the good red wine that goes with his meat, a French butcher has to be picked with care and pampered for years—and even then he can turn sour. Rushing in where housewives fear to tread, Charles de Gaulle in 1961 tried to battle inflation by decreeing a cut in butchers' profit margins, which in many cases amounted to 50%. Again this year, De Gaulle's regime demanded that butchers cut some fat from their prices. Last week, striking back, indignant Parisian butchers closed clown 3,355 of 3,744 butcher shops in greater Paris...

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