Socialist Challenge: Class Politics in France
Whereas Germany was the economic engine of the EC project, France after playing the spoiler of the European integration under Pierre Mendès-France in 1954, de Gaulle in 1965, and Mitterrand in 1981 became the pilot of the single market and currency after the latter’s turnabout in 1983. As the great Western outcropping of the Eurasian continent, the biggest sized-country, fourth largest world exporter and only country willing to stand up to the US, France was the reluctant but indispensable EC partner. European integration could only go so far as France wanted and France had many reasons to resist it – a strong sense of national identity and destiny, great state capacity, a deeply rooted revolutionary socialist tradition, and an economy that usually ran on inflationary fuel rather than the sound money of a German-style ERM or EMU. France always represented a potential challenge to EC neo-liberalism.
KeywordsInterest Rate Minimum Wage Collective Bargaining Real Interest Rate Finance Minister
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