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France

Yearbook 2001

France. It stormed during the year around President Jacques Chirac, who was accused of corruption during his tenure as mayor of Paris 1977-95. In March, he was ordered to testify in an ongoing investigation into illegal contributions to his Gaullist party RPR, and during the summer came new disclosures about cash payments on millions for holiday trips with the family.

2001 France

But Chirac refused to be heard on the basis of immunity for the head of state and in October got the right in the highest court. However, the Court made clear that the immunity only applies as long as he is president.

2001 FranceAccording to Countryaah, the main rival to the 2002 presidential election, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, presented himself as an honorable candidate in comparison to Chirac. But at the end of the year, Jospin was also called in to testify in a corruption investigation. Furthermore, in June, after media disclosures, he had to admit that he had been a Trotskyist in the 1960s, despite having previously denied such rumors.

Before the municipal elections held in March, the socialists had predicted successes. They also won surprisingly in the capital, which has had bourgeois rule since the Paris municipality in 1871, and in the third largest city of Lyon. In total, the Left went back and received only 45% of the votes, against 47% for the bourgeois parties.

In March, France became the first country on the continent where the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease was discovered in cows and sheep, following the major outbreak in Britain. The EU imposed an export ban on cloven animals and meat products, but there was no major epidemic and in April the bans were lifted. The number of cases of BSE, or mad cow disease, on the other hand, continued to increase.

In September, 29 people were killed and close to 3,000 injured when a violent explosion occurred in a factory in Toulouse.

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