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The implosion of French President François Hollande’s Socialist government can only boost the campaign of reformist National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
The implosion of French President François Hollande’s Socialist government can only boost the campaign of reformist National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
(JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER/REUTERS)

Ailing France nears a moment of reckoning

France is in a terrible state and President Hollande’s putsch against the left-wing ministers in his Socialist government is a desperate and far-too-late attempt to put the country right. The new administration, purged of Arnaud Montebourg, the maverick who threatened Arcelor Mittal with nationalization over its closure of a loss-making steel plant, won’t make a dent in the country’s soaring unemployment and ballooning national debt but it is least an acknowledgment that France’s underlying problem is deeply political.