In France a new burst of confidence in the country's economy has been reported following the victory of the ruling Centre-right coalition over the Socialist-Communist opposition in Sunday's (19 March) second round of general election voting.
CU Newspaper headlines in Paris
CU Sign Bourse, PULL OUT GV Building
MV Gaullist leader Jacques Chirac speaking
GV Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand surrounded by newsmen
CU Mitterrand speaking
The unexpectedly large majority won by the government coalition has prompted political analysts to forecast that President Valery Giscard d'Estaing will probably keep Monsieur Ramond Barre as Prime Minister, at least until the end of this year. By that time Monsieur Barre's austerity programme is expected to be paying dividends in terms of stable prices and reduced unemployment. But if the President does decide to make a change, names mentioned in Paris as possible successors to Monsieur Barre are reported to include former Gaullist Premier Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Health Minister Simone Veil.
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Background: In France a new burst of confidence in the country's economy has been reported following the victory of the ruling Centre-right coalition over the Socialist-Communist opposition in Sunday's (19 March) second round of general election voting. French stockbrokers say they have received huge buying orders for shares in French companies, after the coalition beat the opposition by the unexpectedly large margin of 91 seats. On Monday (20 March) the French climbed on the West German Foreign Exchange market -- changing hands in early trading at 44.55 marks per 100 compared with Friday's (17 March) closing level of around 43.60.
SYNOPSIS: In Paris, newspaper headlines proclaimed the coalition victory on Sunday as politicians analysed the implications of the second round. Observers say the next move is in the hands of President Valery Giscard d'Estaing -- who has promised to bring new faces into his administration to cover a wider political spectrum. Gaullist leader Jacques Chirac commented on the result to newsmen.
Monsieur Chirac was in a confident mood as he maintained that the Centre-Right had just won a great victory. He said that he was not at all surprised because during the period prior to the election he had been one of the few people -- indeed towards the end the only political figure -- to be absolutely sure of the result. Against all expert opinion, he said he was completely convinced that what the Centre-Right refer to as "the majority" would win.
Monsieur Chirac went on to say that he had always been certain that the people of France would once again reject the Common Programme of the Socialists and Communists and what he called the "hypothesis" of joint government from the left.
Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand, however, had different views on the subject.
He said that the country had chosen the left-wing alliance in the most recent provincial and municipal elections. Obviously a disappointed man, he said that it was clear after the general election that the hope this development had carried with it had been dashed by the break which occurred between the Socialist and Communist Parties on the 22nd of September last year.
Monsieur Mitterrand said historians would draw their own conclusions from the events -- but that those who accepted responsibility for defeat should not join with the right-wing in violent attacks against the socialists. The results were there for all to see, Monsieur Mitterrand added, and France still has the same government and the same problems. In conclusion the Socialist leader said he sympathised with the 15 million French men and women who had wanted change.