French Face Realite
On 23 February 1996, the French government Finally announced the inevitable defense cuts in a document describing plans for 1997 through 2015. France had been the only major Western country not to cut defense spending after the Cold War, but such spending was one of the few areas open to cuts after the civil disorders last fall foreclosed changes in social security and related areas.
The government remains committed to the single European currency, which it declares is the central tenet of the European Union; accordingly, it must limit drastically its budget deficit. Unfortunately, the country also is suffering from very high unemployment, reportedly up to 45% of the 20-25 year group. Some may recall that it was precisely this age cohort in the past that provided revolutionary armies.