FRANCE: Minus & Plus

The Communists lost control of an important political weapon—France's social security system. The purse strings of the French "securite sociale," which last year paid out 426 billion francs ($1.2 billion) to ease the French workers' path from cradle to grave, are held by 234 regional boards. Both workers and employers elect representatives to sit on the boards. Three years ago, France's Communist labor unions managed to elect 60% of the board members. Two weeks ago 5½ million French workers went to the polls to elect new social security representatives. When the returns were counted last week, the Communists had...

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