France Needs A Dose Of Reality

The time has probably come for France to face political reality and dump the franc fort, its decade-old effort to build a franc that can look the German mark in the eye. Although it's a shame to have endured slow growth and fiscal restraint for nothing, why continue? Despite promises to the contrary, France's new rulers can't find the political courage to cut the runaway state spending that fuels budget deficits and puts pressure on the franc. A paralyzing state-employee strike on Oct. 10, to protest a pay freeze, seems likely to further fray the resolve of Prime Minister Alain Juppe.

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