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Face-off

France's budget: Is the EU calling the shots?

With the European Commission reviewing France's budget for next year, the French government has found itself in the awkward position of the student anxiously waiting for the teacher to grade his exam paper. This is fuelling a growing sentiment of decline in Europe's second-largest economy, leading some politicians on both sides of the aisle to refuse what is perceived as a submission to Brussels and Berlin.

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Also this week, the tragic death of a protester in violent clashes with police on the site of a dam project has ignited a vicious feud between the ruling Socialists and their former coalition partner, the Green party.        

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