AN EXCLUSIVE TALK WITH JACQUES CHIRAC

WE ARE NOT AN AVERAGE NATION

Last month, before the strikes and demonstrations that have created a crisis in France began, an upbeat Jacques Chirac met with TIME Europe editor Christopher Redman and Paris bureau chief Thomas Sancton to discuss his views of France, Europe and the world. It was the first interview Chirac has granted to any foreign publication since his election as President in May. Excerpts from their conversation:

TIME: Mr. President, what are your main objectives as you lead France into the next century?

Chirac: The bipolar world we have known is finished, and the world of tomorrow will be multipolar. One of the...

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