France: Confessions of a President

A mea culpa from Mitterrand on economic policy

For months, President François Mitterrand has come under mounting criticism for his handling of the economy. He has been berated for increased government spending and successive devaluations of the franc. Fellow Socialists have groaned about his stringent austerity program, designed to bring the soaring foreign trade deficit under control and to curb France's 8.5% inflation. Students, shopkeepers and even policemen took to the streets last spring to vent their displeasure with the policies of his two-year-old government. His approval rating has plunged from 50% to 35% in the past year. Last week the...

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