With the French elections less than two weeks away, politicians and opinion polls are still divided on the crucial question -- will France go Right or Left?
With the French elections less than two weeks away, politicians and opinion polls are still divided on the crucial question -- will France go Right or Left? The latest polls show support for the right-centre government running neck and neck with the popularity of the Left. But there is one constituency where the result is a foregone conclusion. This is Beauvais, where the incumbent deputy (member of parliament) is one of France's richest men, the millionaire arms manufacturer Marcel Dassault.
SYNOPSIS: Beauvais is a small town. It lies some 60 kilometre (40 miles) to the north of Paris. It has a long history dating back to Roan times and it even has a local heroine, Jeanne Hachette, who saved Beauvais from siege in 1972.
It also has Marcel Dassault. He arrived in 1958 and became the Beauvais deputy. And in the 20 years since then, he has spent something like 10 million dollars on local amenities -- all say his political opponents, aimed at buying votes. Today, Beauvais is littered with the gifts this wealthy man has showered on it. In the Marcel Dassault park, there is the Marcel Dassault ice rink and the Olympic-size Marcel Dassault open air swimming pool. Elsewhere in the town, there is the Marcel Dassault indoor swimming pool, the Marcel Dassault bowling alley and a Marcel Dassault donkey stable for the children.