FRANCE: A Reprieve, Not a Mandate

Just before last week's final ballot, Socialist François Mitterrand offered a wry description of how French voters approach an election. "On Monday you throw artichokes at the prefecture," he said. "On Tuesday it's potatoes. Wednesday you put up roadblocks, and on Thursday you break windows. You tie up downtown Paris on Friday and boo the Minister of Finance. I don't know what you do on Saturday, but on Sunday you vote for the government."

So they did. Despite the polls, the widespread dissatisfaction over inequities in French life and the staleness of President...

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