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Ancien regime

The French used to be proud of the Enarques, their ruling elite embodying an enlightened but monarchical vision of France. Dominique Moisi wonders if they are fit to take the country into the 21st century

By Dominique Moisi   July 1996

All is quiet in Paris again. The strikes which paralysed France in the autumn of 1995 have left little visible impact on political life. Prime Minister Alain Jupp?s still in power-only slightly less unpopular than before.

Much ado about nothing? Not exactly. The strikes have solved none of the structural problems facing France. The country still provides a vivid illustration of Europe’s democratic challenge. Can we combine growth and social security with low inflation and low unemployment? Can solutions be found which are acceptable to a still rigid corporatist society, while remaining compatible with the constraints of Maastricht and its…

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