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France


FLAG, France 13
FLAG
Eiffel Tower, France 37
Eiffel Tower
Coté d'Azur, France 47
Coté d'Azur
Church of Sacré-Coeur, France 48
Church of Sacré-Coeur

 

France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe's highest point—Mont Blanc (15,781 ft; 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are in the northeast, and the Pyrénées are along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west—the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France's eastern border. In the Mediterranean.

In March 2004 regional elections, the Socialist Party made enormous gains over Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Party. Unpopular economic reforms are credited for the UMP's defeat.

On May 29, 2005, French voters rejected the European Union constitution by a 55%–45% margin. Reasons given for rejecting the constitution included concerns about forfeiting too much French sovereignty to a centralized European government and alarm at the EU's rapid addition of 10 new members in 2004, most from Eastern Europe. In response, President Chirac, who strongly supported the constitution, replaced Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin with Dominique de Villepin, a former foreign minister.

Rioting erupted on Oct. 27, 2005, in the impoverished outskirts of Paris and continued for two weeks, spreading to 300 towns and cities throughout France. It was the worst violence the country has faced in four decades. 

In March and April 2006, a series of huge and ongoing protests took place over a proposed labor law that would allow employers to fire workers under age 26 within two years without giving a reason. The law was intended to control high unemployment among France's young workers. The protests continued after President Chirac signed a somewhat amended bill into law. But on April 10, Chirac relented and rescinded the law, an embarrassing about-face for the government.

National elections scheduled for 2007 pitted Socialist Segolene Royal against conservative Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the nominee for the Union for a Popular Movement. Late in the race, centrist candidate Francois Bayrou of the Union for French Democracy emerged as a contender.

President Chirac announced in March that he would retire after more than 40 years in politics and 12 years as president. He endorsed the candidacy of Sarkozy.

Normandy,, Provence,, Cote D'Azur,,

Normandy, Normandy,
Normandy is less than an hour from Paris, a five-hour ferry ride from England and three hundred kilometres from the Benelux countries. It is a land of traditions with a glorious past, which has managed to conserve the charms of the countryside and the sea while paying full homage to its history. In Normandy you can combine golf and swimming in the sea, golf and sailing, golf and horse-riding, golf and...
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Provence, Provence,
Provence, France A land of light, warmth and beauty, Provence awakens all the senses – the scent of purple lavender and bright yellow mimosa, the sound of cicadas in the fragrant pine trees, the taste of fresh melon and a chilled glass of rosé, and the luxurious warmth of the summer sun on your back. This beautiful region, in south-east France, has been divided into six different ‘départements’, each with its...
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Cote  D'Azur, Cote D'Azur,
The Côte D’Azur is synonymous with glitz and glamour in the best of the sunshine of the French Riviera. It is well known for its long hot summers, making it a perfect region for a French villa holiday. The glittering casinos, broad boulevards and palatial palm-fringed promenades will be taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by Côte D’Azur holidays. Côte D’Azur - Nice Nice is the capital of the Cote d'Azur,...
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