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France


    • Names:

        conventional long form:
        French Republic

        conventional short form:
        France

        local long form:
        Republique Francaise

        local short form:
        France

    • Digraph:
      FR

    • Type:
      republic

    • Capital:
      Paris

    • Administrative divisions:
      22 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Bretagne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche-Comte, Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Rhone-Alpes

        note:
        the 22 regions are subdivided into 96 departments; see separate entries for the overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion) and the territorial collectivities (Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon)

    • Dependent areas:
      Bassas da India, Clipperton Island, Europa Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, New Caledonia, Tromelin Island, Wallis and Futuna

        note:
        the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica

    • Independence:
      486 (unified by Clovis)

    • National holiday:
      National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

    • Constitution:
      28 September 1958, amended concerning election of president in 1962, amended to comply with provisions of EC Maastricht Treaty in 1992; amended to tighten immigration laws 1993

    • Legal system:
      civil law system with indigenous concepts; review of administrative but not legislative acts

    • Suffrage:
      18 years of age; universal

    • Executive branch:

        chief of state:
        President Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981); election last held 8 May 1988 (next to be held by May 1995); results - Second Ballot Francois MITTERRAND 54%, Jacques CHIRAC 46%

        head of government:
        Prime Minister Edouard BALLADUR (since 29 March 1993)

        cabinet:
        Council of Ministers; appointed by the president on the suggestion of the prime minister

    • Legislative branch:
      bicameral Parliament (Parlement)

        Senate (Senat):
        elections last held 27 September 1992 (next to be held September 1995; nine-year term, elected by thirds every three years); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (321 total; 296 metropolitan France, 13 for overseas departments and territories, and 12 for French nationals abroad) RPR 91, UDF 142, PS 66, PCF 16, independents 2, other 4

        National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale):
        elections last held 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held NA 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (577 total) RPR 247, UDF 213, PS 67, PCF 24, independents 26

    • Judicial branch:
      Constitutional Court (Cour Constitutionnelle)

    • Political parties and leaders:
      Rally for the Republic (RPR), Alain JUPPE, interim head; Union for French Democracy (UDF, coalition of PR, CDS, RAD, PSD), Valery Giscard d'ESTAING; Republican Party (PR), Gerard LONGUET; Center for Social Democrats (CDS), Francois BAYROU; Radical (RAD), Yves GALLAND; Socialist Party (PS), Henri EMMANUELLI; Left Radical Movement (MRG), Jean-Francois HORY; Communist Party (PCF), Robert HUE; National Front (FN), Jean-Marie LE PEN; The Greens, Antoine WAECHTER, Jean-Louis VIDAL, Guy CAMBOT; Generation Ecology (GE), Brice LALONDE

    • Other political or pressure groups:
      Communist-controlled labor union (Confederation Generale du Travail - CGT) nearly 2.4 million members (claimed); Socialist-leaning labor union (Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail or CFDT) about 800,000 members (est.); independent labor union (Force Ouvriere) 1 million members (est.); independent white-collar union (Confederation Generale des Cadres) 340,000 members (claimed); National Council of French Employers (Conseil National du Patronat Francais - CNPF or Patronat)

    • Member of:
      ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EBRD, EC, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, FAO, FZ, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUSAL, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIH, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

    • Diplomatic representation in US:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Jacques ANDREANI

        chancery:
        4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

        telephone:
        [1] (202) 944-6000

        consulate(s) general:
        Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

    • US diplomatic representation:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Pamela C. HARRIMAN

        embassy:
        2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08

        mailing address:
        Unit 21551, Paris; APO AE 09777

        telephone:
        [33] (1) 42 96 12 02, 42 61 80 75

        FAX:
        [33] (1) 42 66 97 83

        consulate(s) general:
        Bordeaux, Marseille, Strasbourg

    • Flag:
      three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor); the design and colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Ireland, Cote d'Ivoire, and Luxembourg; the official flag for all French dependent areas






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