ECONOMY OF FRANCE, State, administrative and local structure...


9.1. State, administrative and local arrangement

France, according to the Constitution, is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social state with a republican form of government. France is a classical unitary state, where the central government has always significantly influenced everyday life of citizens than local authorities (unlike other Western European countries).

In 1960, in order to better coordinate the administration, President de Gaulle signed a decree on the organization of 22 regions, each of which comprised from two to eight departments. This reform was carried out for the sole purpose of strengthening the administrative system, and it did not in the least violate the traditionally rigid centralization of state administration. The Socialists, who came to power together with President François Mitterrand in 1981, already had a real decentralization in the country. As a result, a significant amount of economic and social powers were transferred from the central government to the provinces. Taxation, education, health care and economic development became the province of 22 regions and 96 departments. The 1982 law, initiated by French President Mitterrand, renamed the prefects appointed by Paris as special commissioners of the Republic, and their power was limited in favor of the departmental and municipal councils and communes. As a result, after five centuries of steady centralization, France began to move in the opposite direction - to the decentralization of power (the process devolution ). In administrative terms, it is now divided into 22 regions, 96 departments, 36 565 communes.

The country's political system is based on the rivalry of political parties. The parties that won the national presidential and parliamentary elections receive a presidential post and the right to form governments. The President at the same time has a certain independence in the choice of the Prime Minister. The government is responsible not only to the parliament (as in Germany), but also to the president - the head of state. They are currently Nicolas Sarkozy. France - one of the most developed countries in the world, included in the "Big Seven" (G-7).

Political and general economic factors that affected the postwar development of France

The road to prosperity for France was very difficult, it was subjected to the occupation of Hitler Germany from 1939 until the entry of Allied armies into its territory in 1945. The economy and infrastructure were, in fact, destroyed, the population was in poverty . This also applies to the so-called Vichy Republic, which was created by the Nazis, allegedly as an "independent French state" led by collaborators, led by Marshal Petain. The new French government in liberated France faced enormous economic and social problems. They were decided initially with much US assistance through the "Marshall Plan" we described earlier. In accordance with this plan, America provided significant financial, material and food aid to France, which was the first stage of recovery as a vital factor in overall social stabilization. Of great importance was the fact that the French scientists, specialists, engineers, and skilled workers who had dispersed to various countries and colonies quickly returned to the country and undertook creative work. In a record short time period (by 1948), the people of France restored the country's main industrial potential, and the period of economic reconstruction began on a new technological basis.

It should be noted such an important factor that contributed to the successful development of the country, as decolonization. France, along with Great Britain, Holland, Spain and Portugal, almost two post-war decades still remained an extensive colonial empire. She tried to keep it with fire and sword, using her armed forces, and through peaceful means - through negotiations, offering various benefits and benefits to the colonies, especially those that participated in the Second World War on the side of the Fighting France (the organization of the Resistance, created by General Charles de Gaulle in England). But the striving of the colonial peoples for freedom and independence was indomitable. France suffered a heavy defeat in Indochina near Dienbenfu (Vietnam) and was forced in 1954 to recognize its independence. Soon the liberation war unfolded in North Africa - Algeria. The war was long and hard, and finally, President Charles de Gaulle (with strong resistance from influential military and political circles) agreed to the independence of Algeria during the Evian talks (Evian agreements, 1962). Other former colonies of France, starting in the second half of the 1950s (Lebanon, Morocco) and in the early 1960s, gained independence peacefully. So, France finally ceased to be a colonial state, having preserved with the many of the former colonies a traditional special relationship. Since that period, France's economic development has acquired great dynamism, its political and business circles have sought and found sources of growth no longer in the "external" colonial milieu, but within the country, hence the obvious leadership of France in European construction, the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC) on the fundamental basis of rapprochement between the two states - France and Germany.

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