The Independent Republican Party, the leading group allied with the Gaullists in the French Government coalition, head a rally in Paris on Saturday (19 June).
The Independent Republican Party, the leading group allied with the Gaullists in the French Government coalition, head a rally in Paris on Saturday (19 June). Although attended by some government leaders, French president, Monsieur Valery Giscard d'Estaing, an Independent Republican, did not attend. The President starts a state visit to Britain on Tuesday (22 June).
There is continuing speculation over the future of the present government following strong disagreement between the Republicans and the Gaullists on tax proposals.
SYNOPSIS: The rally took on a carnival atmosphere as hundreds of party supporters enjoyed folk dancing and other traditional activities. However, in the background, doubts continued about the solidarity of Republican-Gaullist coalition. Reuters says that President Giscard has suffered a damaging public split with the Gaullists over his controversial tax plans. There have also been reports of a government re-shuffle. Although the President has ruled this out, he's left open the possibility of the resignation of Gaullist Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac. Reuters says that rumours of a change of government in July, or the departure of Prime Minister Chirac, have swept Paris political circles.
There was no mistaking the President's popularity with the rally supporters and Republican party president, Monsieur Roger Chinaud, was full of praise for his leader. However, the general popularity of the French President has taken a dive, according to opinion polls.
Follow Republican and Economics Minister, Monsieur Jean-Pierre Fourcade, also praised the French President. However, none of his Gaullist colleagues in the cabinet attended the rally. And in spite of the carnival atmosphere, doubts are said to remain about the future of the present government.