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New Left Review I/212, July-August 1995


Gavin Bowd

France: la fracture sociale

Successive French prime ministers have, in the wake of their electoral triumphs, used buzz words to describe the political visions which justify their installation in power. In 1969, Chaban-Delmas spoke of a ‘new society’. In 1981, Mitterrand’s first prime minister, Pierre Mauroy, proposed a ‘platform for change’. The right-wing politicians who subsequently cohabited with Dieu were no less visionary: Chirac promised a ‘new frontier’ and Balladur sang the praises of ‘the new French example’. With the Right now holding the presidency and the National Assembly, Alain Juppé speaks of a ‘great hope’.

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