Can Anyone Fix This Country?

As an aimless teenager, Lionel Basset was shunted into a French metalworking school. He found it monumentally boring and dropped out at age 17. Now 21, he has worked just a few weeks at odd jobs since then. Most days, Basset hangs out in cafes with unemployed friends or roams the streets of Saint-Denis, a grimy Paris suburb. He is angry. "I was very badly guided in school," he says, leaning against a graffiti-covered wall. "Nobody in France cares about the young."

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