France. At the beginning of the year, Parliament passed a
disputed law that prohibited religious symbols in state
schools, to guard France's secular state of affairs. The ban
was preceded by a debate over Muslims' right to wear a
headscarf or veil, triggered by what was perceived as a
radicalization among France's approximately 5 million
Muslims. However, the law was designed to include e.g.
Christian crosses, Jewish kippos and the Turks of the Sikhs.
Protests against the ban came to light when two French
journalists were abducted in Iraq in August and the
kidnappers demanded that the law be withdrawn. It took an
overwhelming majority of Muslims in France to join the
government. When the ban came into effect at the beginning
of the autumn term, it was complied with by the large
majority. Both journalists were released by their kidnappers
just before Christmas.
The regional elections held in March became a stinging
defeat for the ruling right-wing UMP. The socialists in
collaboration with communists and environmentalists won in
23 of 26 regions and territories. The UMP in alliance with
the bourgeois UDF managed to retain power only in Alsace and
in Corsica. The election result was widely seen as a protest
against ongoing cuts in welfare systems. The defeat led to
the government being reformed with a number of new names and
some changes of records. Prime Minister Jean-Pierre
Raffarin, however, remained despite demands for his
CountryAAH, the total population in France is 65,273,522 people in 2020.
The UMP's crusade continued when the party received only
16% of the vote in the European Parliament elections in
June. The Socialists gained close to 30%, and they continued
to gain ground when elections in September were held to
one-third of the Senate seats. As a result, the UMP no
longer had its own majority in Parliament's first chamber,
although the bourgeois bloc was still the largest. UMP
leader and former Prime Minister Alain Juppé was convicted
in January of a corruption coup in the then Gaullist party
RPR in Paris. RPR had illegally used its power to strengthen
the party treasury during Jacques Chirac's time as mayor
1977–95. Chirac himself enjoyed the country's presidential
prosecution immunity. Juppé was sentenced to 18 months'
conditional imprisonment and was prohibited from holding
political assignments for ten years. The verdict led him to
resign as party leader. UMP: In November, the party's
Congress appointed Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy as new
leader. Sarkozy increasingly emerged as a rival to Chirac,
with a view to the 2007 presidential election. UMP spokesman
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres was fined for the same crime.
At the beginning of the year, the economy was well on its
way out of a deep weakness. However, unemployment remained
close to 10% and the budget deficit exceeded the EU ceiling
of 3% for the third consecutive year. The government has
long adopted planned austerity measures in the health care
sector, with among other things. a. New fees and attempts to
control patients from specialists to GPs and to use cheaper
medicines. Towards the end of the year came reports of a new
slowdown in growth.
Paris - history
The city originated in the middle of 200-BC. on the Île de la Cité as the
seat of the Gallic tribe of Paris. It was conquered by Caesar in the mid-50's BC,
and the city, Lutetia Parisiorum, then spread to the left bank of the
The first bishop of Paris was Saint Denis, who approx. 250 suffered martyrdom
and became the patron saint of the city. After the invasion of the Franks during
the migration period, Chlodovech became the first king and in 508 made Paris his
capital. Later, a period of decline occurred, with numerous Viking
raids; the most important in 885-86.
In the Middle Ages, the Île de la Cité was both the ecclesiastical and the
secular center. In 1163, the construction of Notre-Dame began, and the kings
often lived in the castle on the western part of the island. On the left
Seinebred the students lived, and in 1210 the university was established, after
which the Latin Quarter took shape. In 1248, Louis IX had the Gothic
Sainte-Chapelle erected to house the newly crowned crown of thorns.
Francis I made Paris his residence. In 1546, he had his architect Lescot
begin a new construction of the Louvre in an Italian Renaissance style.
During the Wars of Religion, which culminated in Bartholomew's Night in 1572,
Paris was the bastion of Catholics until the city fell to Protestant attacks.
But their leader had to convert to Catholicism to become King of France, like
With him began an actual urban planning. The Pont-Neuf bridge was completed
along with the Place Dauphine. The beautiful Place Royale, later called the
Place des Vosges, was laid out in the new Marais district to the east. Here the
aristocracy erected many mansions, just as many ecclesiastical institutions were
established here, especially after Paris in 1622 had become the archbishopric.
Louis XIV's young years were 1648-53 marked by the civil war Fronden, which
also hit Paris hard. This was a contributing factor to the king's relocation to
the Palace of Versailles in 1682. With Louis XIV, a new large-scale building
program was initiated. In 1670, the old city walls were demolished to make way
for new boulevards. The Hôpital de la Salpêtrière was built for the poor and
sick, and the Hôtel des Invalides for the wounded from the many wars. The Louvre
was given a columnar eastern façade, and the Place des Victoires and Place
Vendôme were laid out. In addition, new neighborhoods to the west as the
aristocracy settled into modern, comfortable mansions in the suburbs of
Saint-Germain and Saint-Honoré.
In the mid-1700's, let Louis 15. Place de la Concorde build. The Church of
Sainte-Geneviève, the later Panthéon and the École militaire with a front parade
ground, Champ-de-Mars, were erected.
With the Revolution in 1789, major political changes took place, for example,
Paris became an almost autonomous municipality, but the Parisian cityscape did
not change much.
Napoleon I had big plans to modernize Paris and make the city the metropolis
of Europe, but military and administrative tasks occupied his time. The small
triumphal arch on the Place du Carrousel was completed while the large one was
commenced. The Vendôme pillar was erected and the Stock Exchange was
built. Napoleon was also very busy with practical tasks, as evidenced by
the construction of Rue de Rivoli as well as new bridges and a canal that led
water in from the river Ourcq to the center.
In 1832, the city, whose hygiene conditions were poor, was hit by a major
cholera epidemic. Industrialization gained momentum in the 1830's with a huge
influx of workers to the city, so that in 1846 there were over 1
million. inhabitants. In 1837 the first railway was built, and from 1842 it was
extended with six main lines to the province. In 1841-45 a new defense ring was
built around the city.
The revolution of 1848 brought Louis Napoléon to power, from 1852 as
Emperor Napoleon III. Under the leadership of Baron Haussmann, a drastic
modernization of Paris was carried out. The slums in the center were cleared,
new wide boulevards cut through the city, the Étoile square around the great
triumphal arch took shape with 12 radiating avenues, and the Louvre and the
Tuileries were connected into a single complex. The new rich bourgeoisie met in
Charles Garnier's opera (1861-75), while the population could use Alphand's
recreational areas such as Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. The halls
were renewed with Baltard's (1805-74) metal pavilions, and the city got a modern
In 1870, the emperor lost the war against Prussia, and in the spring of
1871, the Paris Commune sought to establish a social republic. It was bloodily
defeated by the government, but before that the municipalities had set fire to
many official buildings, such as the Tuileries and the town hall. For the new
Third Republic there was a great deal of reconstruction work going on. The
Sacré-Cœur was built as a church of atonement on Montmartre. Soon the well-to-do
gathered in the many new department stores and for the great World's Fair in
1889, which had the Eiffel Tower as a landmark.
From the 1890's, the suburbs with large factory facilities and the new
working-class neighborhoods emerged. In 1900, the subway, the subway, was built,
and the car kept its entrance, so in 1920 the defense ring was abolished in
favor of a ring road. A modernization of housing and traffic conditions was
urgent, but the German occupation of 1940-44 and the subsequent war in Indochina
got in the way. In 1957, a new district for administration and business, La
Défense, also called Paris' Manhattan, was built, and in the 1960's and 1970's,
the encirclement of Paris began with the so-called satellite cities, which are
mainly inhabited by immigrants.
In Paris itself, there were also changes after a long period of
stagnation. De Gaulle established the Fifth Republic in 1958, and this was
marked by an extensive cleansing of the sights of Paris, just as the Minister of
Culture Malraux set in motion the restoration of historic neighborhoods,
Marais. But social and educational conditions were neglected, leading to
the student revolt of 1968, which meant de Gaulle's resignation the following
To mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1989,
President Mitterrand launched a huge building program from 1982: the Danish
architect von Spreckelsen built a gigantic building in La Défense, the Louvre
got a new entrance with the glass pyramid, and the Bastille Opera, The Arab
Institute, a city of science in La Villette and a large, new national
library. However, this program stood in stark contrast to the growing influx of
unemployed and homeless. Former Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac, who became
president in 1995, had a hard time lifting the legacy of his predecessors.
In 2015, Paris was hit by terrorist attacks. On January 7, 2015, militant
Islamists attacked the editorial office of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo,
where they shot and killed ten employees and two police officers. On 13.11.2015,
Paris was hit by a coordinated terrorist attack, where bombs exploded outside
the Stade de France football stadium, and where shootings took place against
restaurants and the Bataclan venue. During the attack on 13/11, for
which IS subsequently took responsibility, 130 people died.