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Most French people believe their government is corrupt. This may not stop corrupt politicians gaining office, but it turns many off voting and benefits Le Pen

By Tim King   February 2007

All last summer, Suez, a French energy company, lobbied to get parliamentary approval for its proposed merger with Gaz de France. In July, just weeks before the debate in the Assemblée nationale, Suez invited 20 key politicians on a three-day junket to Berlin, including tickets for the France/Italy World Cup final. Surely this was not in the hope of influencing the parliamentary vote?

Debate about corruption is in the air again in France, as it is in Britain and Germany. But it is not so much headline-grabbing, megabuck corruption at the corporate level of BAE or Siemens: France lived through…

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