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    France Government - 1990

      Long-form name: French Republic

      Type: republic

      Capital: Paris

      Administrative divisions: metropolitan France--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, St. 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

      Independence: unified by Clovis in 486, First Republic proclaimed in 1792

      Constitution: 28 September 1958, amended concerning election of president in 1962

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

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

      Executive branch: president, prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

      Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament (Parlement) consists of an upper house or Senate (Senat) and a lower house or National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale)

      Judicial branch: Court of Cassation (Cour de Cassation)

      Leaders: Chief of State--President Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981); Head of Government--Prime Minister Michel ROCARD (since 10 March 1988)

      Political parties and leaders: Rally for the Republic (RPR, formerly UDR), Jacques Chirac; Union for French Democracy (UDF, federation of PR, CDS, and RAD), Valery Giscard d'Estaing; Republicans (PR), Francois Leotard; Center for Social Democrats (CDS), Pierre Mehaignerie; Radical (RAD), Yves Gallard; Socialist Party (PS), Pierre Mauroy; Left Radical Movement (MRG), Yves Collin; Communist Party (PCF), Georges Marchais; National Front (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen

      Suffrage: universal at age 18

      Elections: President--last held 8 May 1988 (next to be held May 1995); results--Second Ballot Francois Mitterrand 54%, Jacques Chirac 46%; Senate--last held 24 September 1989 (next to be held September 1992); 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 93, UDF 143 (PR 53, CDS 65, RAD 25), PS 64, PCF 16, independents 2, unknown 3; National Assembly--last held 5 and 12 June 1988 (next to be held June 1993); results--Second Ballot PS-MRG 48.7%, RPR 23.1%, UDF 21%, PCF 3.4%, other 3.8%; seats--(577 total) PS 275, RPR 132, UDF 90, UDC 40, PCF 25, independents 15

      Communists: 700,000 claimed but probably closer to 150,000; Communist voters, 2.8 million in 1988 election

      Other political or pressure groups: Communist-controlled labor union (Confederation Generale du Travail) 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) about 1,000,000 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: ADB, CCC, Council of Europe, DAC, EC, EIB, EMS, ESA, ESCAP, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IATP, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICES, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, IPU, IRC, ISO, ITC, ITU, IWC--International Whaling Commission, NATO (signatory), OAS (observer), OECD, SPC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO

      Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Jacques ANDREANI; Chancery at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC 20007; telephone (202) 944-6000; there are French Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico); US--Ambassador Walter J. P. CURLEY; Embassy at 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08 (mailing address is APO New York 09777); telephone p33o (1) 42-96-12-02 or 42-61-80-75; there are US Consulates General in Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, and Strasbourg

      Flag: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor); the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Ireland, Ivory Coast, and Luxembourg; the official flag for all French dependent areas

      NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of France Government 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France Government 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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