I am always interested in reading what the Anglo-Saxons say about us French: The feedback is enlightening ("Backlash! Will the French revolt cripple European reform?" June 16). I expected the June election to be misunderstood, just as President Jacques Chirac's election victory back in '95 was misunderstood--not only by foreign observers, but by Chirac himself.

In '95, the French voted for change--change meant growth and jobs. The right had been in office for two years, but Chirac promised a different sort of right. However, there was no follow-up to that promise; taxes and the public debt both went on going up, and so did the number of unemployed.

So in '97, the French have again voted for change, because they still want growth and jobs. They are probably more consistent than their President is.

Jean-Francois Chapin

La Rochelle, France

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