France: More Bad News

The troubles of French President Jacques Chirac are deepening. As terrorists--probably from Algeria--exploded the eighth bomb since July in a Paris subway on Oct. 17, a new corruption probe threatened the job of Economics Minister Jean Arthuis. Named less than two months ago to succeed Alain Madelin, who was fired for preaching fiscal rigor, Arthuis is suspected of illegally funding his small center-right party. Meanwhile, France's economy is slowing. Tax revenues, the bourse, and the franc are falling. So is the approval rating of Prime Minister Alain Juppe--now just 32%. Chirac, in power since May, may be pressured to dump Juppe and make a fresh start.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.