France is a country located in Europe. According to AbbreviationFinder, FR is the two-letter ISO code of France, and FRA is the three-letter country abbreviation for France.
The national day of France is July 14. France is a country located in western Europe. On April 21, President Jacques Chirac disbanded Parliament and announced new elections for the end of May-June. He had not had to hold elections until the late winter of 1998 but wanted to avoid an election campaign in the midst of the delicate decisions on the EU currency union EMU that must be taken in early 1998. Opinion figures suggested that the ruling parties would retire but still retain their majority.
The president was wrong. Even after the first round of elections, even the unpopular Prime Minister Alain Juppé’s resignation, regardless of the end result, could not prevent a disaster election for the government parties. These lost more than 200 seats and saw their representation in the National Assembly halved. Not least, the decline was due to the government losing votes to the right-wing party National Front. However, the electoral system disadvantaged the front, which despite 14.9% of the votes only got a single mandate. The Socialists with allied small parties increased from 63 seats to 273 and the Communists also made strong progress.
The new Prime Minister was appointed Socialist leader Lionel Jospin, who in his government included two Communists and one representative each for the Greens, the Radical Socialist Party and the Citizens’ Movement. Juppé was not only allowed to leave the government but also resigned as party leader of the Collection for the Republic (RPR, Rassemblement pour la République). He was succeeded by the outgoing President of the National Assembly Philippe Séguin.
Jospin promised that the lowest allowable salary of the equivalent of just over SEK 8,300. per month would immediately be increased by 4%, that 700,000 new jobs for young unemployed would be created and that by 2000 the working week would be reduced from 39 hours to 35 with retained wages. The Socialist Government also promised to build 100,000 new homes and to stop the sale of state-owned enterprises.
However, the budget situation was strained, with a deficit of about 3.5% of GDP, and the government needed to cut the equivalent of SEK 40 billion. to meet the requirement for accession to EMU, a goal that the government rather aimed at achieving in 1998 rather than resorting to austerity measures that would slow down growth. In its first budget, the government tried to reduce the deficit mainly by raising taxes for large companies and lowering defense costs. The military duty will be abolished and a professional army of 350,000 men will be built up until 2002, which is a reduction of troops by 30%.
The low-paid transport workers marked their dissatisfaction with wages and pension rules with a one-day strike in January and another in May, before they subjected the government to its first major review in November. For one week, truck drivers blocked roads, ports and oil refineries before their largest trade union organization CFDT approved an agreement on, among other things. successive increase of the minimum wage to 10,000 francs until 2000.
The trial of 87-year-old Maurice Papon propelled a self-examining debate on the French settlement with the war years. Papon was accused of being responsible for sending 1,560 Jews from Bordeaux to German extermination camps. However, during the trial, evidence emerged that, on the contrary, he had managed to save hundreds of Jews from deportation. Papon made a career after the war as a well-adjusted Gaullist, became police chief in Paris and budget minister in 1978. Another sensitive issue was why Papon was also not charged with killing up to 300 Algerians by the Paris police during an anti-war demonstration in 1961, when he was the city’s police chief.
Notorious terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos or Schakalen, was sentenced in December to life in prison for three police murders in France in the 1970s.
In December, Parliament also softened immigration laws, which, despite widespread protests, were sharpened in February by the then conservative majority. However, the conservative-dominated Senate protested that became easier to obtain political asylum and French citizenship and demanded a referendum on immigration issues.
Increased preparedness after terrorist attacks in church
Terrorism preparedness is raised to the highest level after a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant stabbed three people to death in a church in the city of Nice. President Macron says France is under attack and states that the French will not give up their values. After the murder of a teacher who showed students a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad (see October 19)) Macron vowed harshly against Islamists, saying that France would not stop publishing satirical cartoons, which provoked a wave of condemnation from the Muslim world. Shortly after the attack on the church in Nice, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote on Twitter that Muslims “had the right to kill millions of French people”. Following pressure from France, Twitter deleted the post. A few days later, Macron tries to pour oil on the waves when he says in an interview with the Arab TV channel al-Jazeera that he understands that caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad can be shocking to Muslims and that he respects such feelings but that they never receive just violence..
The country is shut down again in the fight against infection
President Macron announces that the curfew imposed in Paris and other major cities two weeks earlier has failed to curb the spread of the disease and announces new comprehensive measures. Bars and restaurants are closed and the French are urged to stay indoors. Anyone who wants to go out must state a reason on paper and carry it with them. Unlike this spring, daycare centers, primary and secondary schools will be open, but universities will switch to online teaching. Everyone who can be encouraged to work from home while the activities at factories, construction sites and on farms can continue. Travel between regions is limited.
Quarrels with Turkey escalate
The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo publishes a drawing of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which he wears a beer while wearing underpants while looking under a woman’s skirt. The drawing causes Turkey to threaten with both legal and diplomatic action, and the Ankara prosecutor’s office is launching a criminal investigation. The publication follows President Macron’s statement that France will continue to reserve the right to publish satirical cartoons, a comment that led Erdoğan to question Macron’s mental health (see October 21).
Macron on a collision course with the Muslim world
At a ceremony to honor the memory of the murdered teacher (see 19 October) says President Macron that Islamists will not be allowed to take away their future from the French and announces that “we will continue to make satire cartoons”. Macron’s words arouse anger in the Muslim world where it is forbidden to portray the Prophet Muhammad. In Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar and Egypt, a boycott of French goods is launched. Demonstrations are raging elsewhere and a series of verbal condemnations are being leveled at France from Pakistan, Morocco, Libya, Iran and Egypt, among others. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacts most harshly. He criticizes Macron’s treatment of Muslims in France and says that a person who handles his constituents “should undergo a psychiatric examination”. As a reaction, France brings its ambassador to Turkey.
Islamists are being chased after teachers beheaded
The beheading of a French teacher causes the police to carry out raids against Islamistsnetworks and a dozen people are arrested. The authorities also announce that a mosque that is believed to have contributed to spreading hatred and inciting terrorism will be closed. A few days later, Macron promises that the authorities’ efforts to overcome radical Islamism will be intensified. A total of 50 organizations with ties to radical Islam are now on the list of organizations to be disbanded. The murder of the teacher took place on October 16 and was carried out by an 18-year-old born in Chechnya. The background was that the teacher showed satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech. The teacher had asked the students who could take it badly to go out during the lesson, but when one of the parents heard about the slide show, he started an online campaign against the teacher and was contacted by the killer. The perpetrator struck when the teacher was on his way home from school and was helped by a couple of students who pointed him out for a fee. After the act, the perpetrator was shot dead by police.
Curfews should curb the pandemic
Curfews are being imposed in Paris and eight other cities, including Lyon, Marseilles and Toulouse, in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In these cities, it is forbidden to move outside between 9 pm and 6 am for the next six weeks. The measure affects about 20 out of 67 million French people.
Russia is singled out for poisoning critics of the regime
France Russia for being “involved and responsible” for the poisoning of Russian regime critic Alexei Navalny, who became seriously ill in August after being exposed to a nerve agent during a trip to Siberia. In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of France and Germany say they can not draw any other conclusion because the EU has repeatedly called on Russia to shed light on the incident without receiving a credible response. Moscow says in a comment that the accusations are “unacceptable” and similar to “blackmail”. France is sharpening its tone the day after the UN agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)) confirmed previous reports that Navalny was poisoned by novitiates produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Germany and France state in the statement that they will continue to work together to impose sanctions on the Russians who may be held responsible for the attack on Navalny.
New Caledonia remains French
Residents of the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Seas are voting against a proposal for independence for the archipelago. Just over 53 per cent of those who take part in the vote reject the proposal, which is a smaller proportion than in the most recent vote held two years ago. At that time, almost 57 percent voted against the proposal. A vote on the issue can be held every two years if a third of the members of the local parliament vote in favor.