France: Quick Off the Blocks

Quick Off the Blocks

Less than a month after its narrow victory in national elections, France's new center-rightist coalition led by Prime Minister Jacques Chirac began last week to reshape the country's economy. First it managed to wring out of the European Community an agreement to devalue the franc by the equivalent of 6% against the West German mark. Then the new Prime Minister announced that he would denationalize up to 57 banks and companies, many of which had been nationalized before the Socialists came to power five years ago.

Though Chirac's program was passed by 292 votes to 285, its success is by no...

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