France: A Quiet Revolution

Shaking up the Gallic economic model

The deal was a mold-breaker. In May, French Defense Minister Alain Richard for the first time awarded a naval ship-repair contract to a private company rather than the state-owned shipyard in Toulon. The $2 million winning bid was half that of the state shipyard, and the company promised to do the job in a third of the time. Toulon workers struck for eight weeks in protest, to no avail.

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