France: Higher & Higher Cuisine

Eating out in France has become a financial torment as well as an Epicurean pleasure. Restaurants tack on extra charges for everything from napkins to green vegetables, and les additions have risen higher than souffles. Disturbed by the 9% rise in restaurant prices in the last year compared with a hike in overall living costs of 2.5%, Finance Minister Valery Giscard d'Estaing has decided to broaden France's 14-month-old price-stabilization program to cover menus. Last week hard-eyed government inspectors set out all over France to make certain that the nation's 50,000 restaurants henceforth hold their prices to late-October levels.

Giscard's order...

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