FRANCE: Brawling Before the Elections

The emergence of an unprecedented four-sided battle

While the Italian political crisis was erupting, the politicians in France last week were heading for their own donnybrook. On the one side, a rift in the painfully constructed union of the left widened dramatically, with the Communists denouncing their Socialist partners. On the other, the faltering government of Premier Raymond Barre was faced with a sharpening hostility between supporters of Barre's boss, President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, and Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac, who had been Premier himself before he quit to reorganize the Gaullist party....

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