World: A Sincere Budget

A year ago, when inflationary tides threatened the booming French economy, up stepped French Finance Minister Valery Giscard d'Estaing to put his finger in the dike. "Every hole where inflation could infiltrate will be plugged," he promised. Shopwindows blossomed with yellow signs promising to hold the price line. Giscard cut back credit, let in a flood of foreign goods to boost competition. When both business and labor howled at the pinch, Giscard donned a V-neck sweater to make a soft-sell pitch on television direct to the thrifty French housewife.

Last week Giscard took to TV again to unveil the newest addition to...

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