France. At the beginning of the year, the government presented a plan to support the crisis-hit French automotive industry; Renault and Peugeot-Citroën would receive five-year loans of EUR 3 billion each at favorable interest rates. France was also the first major economy to impose strict limits on bonus payments to banks and other financial institutions.
According to countryaah, many French people were nevertheless dissatisfied with the government’s efforts to counter the crisis. In January, hundreds of thousands took part in a one-day strike that became the most widespread manifestation since President Nicolas Sarkozy took office in May 2007. Unions were unusually united in the demands on household spending and consumption and stopping public sector austerity. Several similar actions with massive participation were held during the spring.
Despite widespread protests against Sarkozy and the right-wing government, his party, the Union for a People’s Movement (UMP), received strong support in the June European elections. One reason was continued internal strife in the largest opposition party. The Socialist Party was shaken during the year by accusations of gross electoral fraud during the bitter power struggle in connection with the party leadership election in late 2008, when Martine Aubry defeated Ségolène Royal by just 42 votes. During the year, the socialists also faced a new challenger when the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) was formed by old communists, opponents of globalization and other groups on the far left.
In June, Sarkozy gave a historic speech, when, after a constitutional change, he became the first president since the 19th century to speak before Parliament’s two chambers. Sarkozy announced that he did not intend to pursue austerity policies in order to overcome the budget deficit and also not agree to tax increases. He also stormed against the use of burqa, the variant of Muslim headscarf that also conceals his entire face.
In July, 25 people were convicted of involvement in the kidnapping and three weeks of torture that led to the death of a young Jewish man in 2006. Among those involved were members of a Muslim gang who called themselves the “Barbarians.” The leader was sentenced to life imprisonment and the others received between six months and 18 years in prison.
A bill on file sharing sparked extensive debate during the year. According to a first variant, however, which was rejected by the Constitutional Council, complaints by copyright holders about illegal downloading of film, music or computer games could lead to a closed Internet connection. A modified version adopted by Parliament in September meant the creation of a new authority that could issue two warnings to network pirates and then ask a court to decide on the suspension. The law was considered one of the stricter in the world in terms of file sharing.
The “trial of the century” began in September against former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who was accused of slandering the party mate and the former rival of the Sarkozy presidential post. The case concerned the so-called Clearstream business, a staggering tavern that began in 2004 when a judge received anonymous information that several leading politicians – including Sarkozy – had secret bank accounts used for bribery in arms deals. The information turned out to be false and later charges were filed against de Villepin, who was accused of deliberately spreading the false information. The trial ended in October; they were expected after New Year.
Paris is well equipped with external transport links. The French main train network, built in the mid-1800’s, was radially pronounced with Paris in the center, and six large railway stations were built on the outskirts of the then city. After World War II, extensive investments were made in the transport systems with major construction work in motorway networks and freight centers. From 1981, the old railway network has been supplemented by several high- speed trains for TGV trains (trains à grande vitesse). Also in this network is the center of Paris, supplemented by a ring lane around the city.
Air traffic is served by Orly airports, mainly with domestic routes, and Charles-de-Gaulle, mainly with international routes. Charles de-Gaulle with his 63.8 million passengers (2014) the world’s eighth largest airport. Together, they serve DKK 92.7 million. passengers (2014).
About half of Paris’ internal transport is by private car, and the other half travels every day, by bus, metro and train. The road system has been expanded with, among other things, a ring motor street, Boulevard Périphérique, on the 1800’s fortress grounds. Two outer ring highways have been completed to the east, but slowed to the west by protests from the local population. The subway network was built in 1898-1914 and was later extended to the suburbs. From 1977 it has been supplemented by the express network RER (Réseau Express Régional), which has longer distances between the stations and reach to the suburbs and the new cities. In addition, bus service and suburban train on the railway lines. The collective means of transport are combined into one transport company and are cheap due to state and regional support, which covers well over half the cost. Public transport vehicles and roads are frequently overcrowded. is due to the geographical imbalance between housing and workplaces.
Paris’s population has grown steadily since the Middle Ages and sharply from the mid-1800’s, when Paris became by far the largest city in France. The strong growth slowed only in the mid-1970’s. Migration from the province and abroad has for centuries played a crucial role in Paris’ growth until the 1970’s, but after that the emigrations became larger than the influences; the growth has since been due to a birth surplus. The former migration came mainly from the north of France, but many French nationals from the former colonies have also come, especially during the decolonization, among other things. the so-called pieds noirs from Algeria. There is a centuries-long tradition of immigration from Italy, Belgium and Switzerland as well as from China and Armenia. However, the largest group of foreigners comes from Africa, especially from the Maghreb countries and Asia, including Vietnam; the second largest group of foreigners is made up of Portuguese and Spaniards. Foreigners live among Frenchmen, but since they mostly belong to the lower social strata, there is a large concentration of foreigners in the northern and eastern boroughs and suburbs. The last decades have seen examples of social unrest in the ghettos, with the background of unequal living conditions, in the form of widespread uprisings in 2005.
Despite a decline in population since the maximum of 2.9 million, the municipality of Paris in 1921 very densely built, and the population density is on average. 4-5 times higher than in the municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. Closest lives are in the 11th arrondissement east of the center with 42,236 people/km2 (2012).