World: Premier Barre Defends His Record

He fears the "ruinous consequences" of a leftist victory

By any measure, Raymond Barre, 53, is an unlikely man to be leading the center-right coalition's battle to retain power in France. Author of the standard economics textbook used in French schools and a former vice president of the Common Market, Barre was virtually unknown in his own country until President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing named him Premier in August 1976. The roly-poly professor, who describes himself as a "square man in a round body," enjoys the fact that he is not a professional politician. His...

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